To measure or not to measure? An empirical investigation of social impact measurement in UK social enterprises

Liston-Heyes, Catherine and Liu, Gordon (2020). To measure or not to measure? An empirical investigation of social impact measurement in UK social enterprises. Public Management Review (In press).

Abstract

Social enterprises (SE) – organizations with a dual mission to generate economic and social value – have become important players in the delivery of public services in the UK and elsewhere. While public sector value-for-money imperatives encourage these hybrid organizations to provide estimates of their social and economic impact, relatively little is known about who does so. Using institutional perspectives and large-sample data produced by Social Enterprises UK, we empirically document the uptake of social impact measurement in this sector and the extent to which context, the nature of the impact, and stakeholders' involvement explain differences in participation rates.

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