Organizational Learning and Marketing Capability Development: A Study of the Charity Retailing Operations of British Social Enterprise

Liu, Gordon and Ko, Wai-Wai (2012). Organizational Learning and Marketing Capability Development: A Study of the Charity Retailing Operations of British Social Enterprise. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 41(4) pp. 580–608.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0899764011411722

Abstract

Social enterprise is a hybrid form of profit- and social benefit–seeking organization whereby traditional nonprofit organizations pursue both their social mission and business opportunities. To embrace this new strategic direction shift, the nonprofit organizations need to develop new competences that will enable them to respond to the changes in the business model. The article investigates the learning mechanisms through which social enterprises develop a marketing capability to deploy their resources in the marketplace as the drivers of competitive advantage in their commercial practice. We study eight cases of U.K.-based charity retailers to address the role of knowledge accumulation, articulation, and codification process in the evolution of marketing capability development. We identify, among other things, that the critical process of organizational learning for social enterprise is to transfer the experience into organization-specific knowledge under the social aspects of constraints.

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