Reid, Kristen and Griffith, Jon
The myths of social enterprise: A critique of assumptions.
Social Enterprise Journal, 2(1),
Purpose – To debate some of the commonly;held assumptions about social enterprises.
Design/methodology/approach – The three main assumptions that are commonly applied to the development and characteristics of social enterprises are discussed, namely: that social enterprise must be a collective or democratic pursuit; that social enterprise is institutionally different from earlier mechanisms designed to usher in a “third way”; and that social enterprise is better than doing nothing. Analyses the development of these three assumptions through the framework offered by DiMaggio and Powell (1983) on institutional isomorphism.
Findings – There are indications that the social enterprises sector would benefit from more co-ops taking an ever-greater market share in an ever-increasing range of industries, but that this should be the outcome of decisions freely made by individual, autonomous organizations that are free to choose social enterprises over other available options. Concludes that the practical danger posed by the wrong kind of isomorphic tendencies is to the potential flourishing of alternative organizational forms, alternative business models, and alternative ways of seeing the economic world.
Originality/value – Clarifies some of the commonly-held views concerning social enterprises.
||2006 Social Enterprise London
||public administration; small enterprises; small to medium-sized enterprises; social enterprises; social responsibility; United Kingdom
||Open University Business School
||05 Apr 2011 13:35
||13 Apr 2011 08:18
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