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Title: Social innovation as a contested term? : the role of social innovation and resource constraints in the work of social enterprise
Author: Szocs, M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 9352 3790
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2020
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Social enterprises have emerged as an alternative to existing business models focused primarily on profitability, as organisations pursuing a strong social goal operating at the intersection of public, private and third sectors. The thesis aims to understand the impact of resourcing on how social enterprises carry out their work. The research addresses the following questions: First, what outcomes do social enterprises seek to deliver in local communities and for whom? Second, how are social enterprises adapting in light of resource constraints? Third, what defines social innovation within a social enterprise context? Fourth, what is the perceived usefulness of social innovation for social enterprise actors? Twenty-two semi-structured interviews with UK social enterprise leaders were generated and analysed through a Grounded Theory approach. The study found that social enterprises typically face resource and capability constraints, and that social enterprise actors reconfigure the existing resource base to adapt to institutional pressures and ensure survival. This study develops the conceptual and theoretical understanding of social innovation, including the normative uses and mixed outcomes of social innovations. The thesis proposes a model of the strategies employed by social enterprise to overcome resource constraints, these include bricolage, social innovation, social capital and tactical mimicry. The thesis adds to existing knowledge within management theory in social entrepreneurship focused on the development of social enterprise (organisational hybrids). The implications of the findings for research and practice are discussed in the conclusions along with limitations of the study and avenues for future research.
Supervisor: Bailey, A. ; Tim, C. ; Anne, O. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: social enterprise ; social innovation ; bricolage ; tactical mimicry ; social entrepreneurship