Social Enterprise Innovation in Context: Stakeholder Influence through Contestation

This study explores if and how this played out in a particular start-up social enterprise to see how these theories reconcile with a particular piece of reality, and what insights this provides researchers interested in the processes of social entrepreneurship

Jamie Newth

2015

Scholarcy highlights

  • Social entrepreneurship is the process of combining resources in innovative ways for the pursuit of opportunities for the simultaneous creation of both socialJ
  • It is a process that can occur within any organizational context, with social enterprises being one of the more distinct vehicles for it as they are businesses that operate with the primary purpose of creating social value
  • This study explores if and how this played out in a particular start-up social enterprise to see how these theories reconcile with a particular piece of reality, and what insights this provides researchers interested in the processes of social entrepreneurship
  • To explore the notion of innovation being shaped by context in a “live” venture, an ethnographic research project was undertaken to observe, in real time, how context shapes innovation in social entrepreneurship within a large humanitarian non-governmental organizations
  • The overview of a selection of influences on the design of the venture provided suggests that the lens employed here is useful for explaining how context shapes innovation in social enterprises
  • The institutional environment guides the routines and beliefs of stakeholders such that their behavior toward social enterprises will influence its innovative products, services, and programs. The impact of this behavior by stakeholders is important because it determines the viability of a particular innovation and thereby causes changes to it. While their ability to influence the innovation is determined by their power, legitimacy, and the urgency of their claims – their salience – the influence occurs through a process of contestation
  • Further research and theoretical consideration will likely provide further explanation as to the drivers of resistive behavior by individuals and organizations, and a more nuanced understanding of the negotiations and decision-making processes around collaboration, and, by extension, innovation

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