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Title: Drink me, save lives : social enterprise and governance in transnational partnerships for development
Author: Seshadri, Sarika
ISNI:       0000 0004 5364 861X
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis explores the governance of transnational partnerships for development involving social enterprises. Whilst large-scale partnerships involving governments and multinational corporations have long featured on the international landscape, small-scale partnerships involving social enterprises represent a relatively recent development, which has been greeted with both enthusiasm and scepticism. This thesis contributes to this debate with an empirical case study of a UK-based social enterprise, FRANK Water. Using the slogan "Drink Me, Save Lives", the organisation sells bottled water products in the UK to raise funds for safe drinking water projects in India. The thesis explores the governance tensions facing this organisation at three different "sites": in the UK, at the transnational level, and in India. In particular, the thesis focuses on how the organisation has dealt with tensions around legal form, recruitment and staffing, funding sources, measuring results, multiple stakeholders, the role of institutions and behaviour change. As will be seen, whilst to some extent these tensions were possible to overcome, the organisation ultimately shifted away from selling bottled water and split its operations from the mainstream activities of its partners. Drawing on Bacchi's "What's the Problem Represented to be?" (WPR) framework, this thesis therefore suggests that approaches to governance tensions can be divided into "problem-solving" and "problematising" approaches. Whereas problem-solving approaches attempt to overcome these tensions, problematising approaches more broadly explore how social enterprise has been framed and whose interests this serves. The thesis suggests that rather than negating social enterprise, problematising approaches can help to identify which forms of social enterprise are appropriate, depending on whose interests are at stake. The thesis therefore concludes by suggesting that social enterprises are appropriate for organisations looking to internalise income streams, particularly in the North. If the aim is to increase access to sustainable services for the poor, however, then the thesis suggests that a social enterprise approach cannot be used as a substitute for an engagement with wider structural dynamics.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available