Towards a ‘Long View’: Historical Perspectives on the Scaling and Replication of Social Ventures

Blundel, Richard K. and Lyon, Fergus (2015). Towards a ‘Long View’: Historical Perspectives on the Scaling and Replication of Social Ventures. Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, 6(1) pp. 80–102.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/19420676.2014.954258

Abstract

Social ventures are now widely regarded as playing an essential role in addressing persistent and pervasive societal challenges. This insight has prompted an active search for readily-scaleable and replicable business models. However, relatively little consideration has been given to the longer-term growth and performance of these hybrid organizational forms. This paper examines how historically-informed research might enhance our understanding of growth processes. It considers the conceptualization of organizational growth in social ventures and the relevance of prevailing constructs. The explanatory potential of ‘long view’ approaches examined by applying three constructs, opportunity recognition, entrepreneurial adjustment, and institutional structure, in a comparative historical analysis of two British social ventures.

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