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Title: An exploratory study of social innovation in for-profit social entrepreneurial ventures in India
Author: Bhatt, Punita
ISNI:       0000 0004 2744 0313
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2012
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Innovation is identified in extant research as a defining characteristic of social entrepreneurial ventures (SEVs). Social innovations are desirable as they create employment opportunities, develop new industries and introduce new business models that address social needs. In recognition, governments and practitioners worldwide are looking at ways of fostering social innovations. Although there is growing interest in social innovation in various fields of research, there is little evidence of an in-depth empirical exploration of social innovations within the context ofSEVs. Further, empirical research on social innovation in developing countries like India is lacking, though India is reported to have high levels of social entrepreneurial activity. This research intends to fill these gaps by empirically investigating social innovations in three for-profit SEVs in India. This thesis was based on the interpretive paradigm and adopted a subjective stance in exploring social innovations in for-profit SEVs. The objectives of this research are twofold. First, it attempts to understand the resource constraints under which social innovation emerges. Second, it investigates how SEV s overcome resource constraints through novel combinations of different forms of capital in line with the Schumpeterian view on innovation. In this inductive, exploratory study, qualitative data was collected from semi-structured interviews with multiple informants in three for-profit SEVs in India. The empirical evidence showed that social innovations are distinct in that they develop under resource constraints. In particular, access to financial and human capital was found to be lacking. The findings indicate that social capital was a key enabler of social innovations, and SEVs leveraged their social capital extensively to overcome resource constraints in their environments. Further, the entrepreneurial role of introducing a novel resource (capital) combination was performed by more collectivist forms of entrepreneurship. This included: collaborative entrepreneurship where an individual entrepreneur collaborated with a network of supporters; team entrepreneurship involving a team of social entrepreneurs; and collective entrepreneurship in a cooperative venture. This research underlines the complexity of the social innovation process and highlights the innovative use of capital fonns in overcoming resource constraints. Suggestions for social entrepreneurs and practitioners on how to manage social innovations are implicit in its finding.
Supervisor: Altinay, Levent ; Bowen, David Sponsor: Oxford Brookes University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral