Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Squaring the challenge : reconciling business and ethical goals in social enterprises
Author: Mazzei, Micaela
ISNI:       0000 0004 2751 4239
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
The narrative surrounding social enterprise, both politically and theoretically, tends to emphasise a narrow definition and a set of expectations as to their role and meaning, generally reducible to organisations able to reconcile business and ethical aspirations. Policies devised to support the development of these organisations are generally based on the assumption that social enterprises have to be self-financing and that their developmental pathways lead to financial sustainability, generally achievable through trade. The experiences of organisations encountered in the course of this research contradict this view, instead highlighting the diversity characterising these organisations and the circumstantiality of their development pathways. It demonstrates that their ability to balance economic imperatives with social and environmental concerns is the product of negotiations and compromises, resulting in experimentation with what it is available in specific moments in time and place. Indeed the nature of the local environment and culture are found to play a crucial role in both the choice of institutional forms and in conditioning development that is more or less in line with an organisation’s ethos. When successful reconciliation occurs, it is the product of particular, place-specific circumstances, unfolding in the networks of relationships developed between a variety of actors from public institutions, businesses, local networks, activists, social movements and other civic groups, all working towards the same aim, whether this is doing business with a conscience or delivering public services with care. This thesis argues for a stronger commitment to economic pluralism, whereby expectations as to what social enterprises can achieve is rebalanced, informed by greater understanding of the plurality of forms that constitutes the social enterprise ‘constellation’ and their diverse potential. Only then can they contribute to more equitable or geographically even economic development.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available