Friday, June 12, 2020
johanna mair (Stanford Hertie School of Governance) has posted Social Entrepreneurship: Research as Disciplined Exploration. Here is the abstract:
Social enterprises address social problem by means of markets. Over the last two decades they have become increasingly popular across geographies. During this time open contestation and ideological debates over the promise, intention and meaning of social entrepreneurship have dominated public discourse but also inhibited the development of a solid knowledge base on social enterprises as a form of organizing in the spectrum of private action for public purpose.
The dominant way of seeing social enterprises as pursuing dual – commercial and social – goals and as ideal sites to study the battle of logics confines our way of looking and limit the theorizing potential around social enterprise. In this chapter I advocate for disciplined exploration approach to study social enterprises to expose this potential. I draw from a collaborative research project involving 1,045 social enterprises across nine countries and show patterns and common features of social enterprises regarding their choice of legal form, their participation in the market for public purpose, their social footprint, and their role in changing local institutional arrangements. I argue that embracing rather than taming the diversity of social enterprises opens opportunities for developing new but more importantly for recasting, refining and connecting existing theories.