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Social enterprise and neo-institutional theory: An evaluation of the organizational logics of SE in the UK

Social enterprise and neo-institutional theory: An evaluation of the organizational logics of SE in the UK
Social enterprise and neo-institutional theory: An evaluation of the organizational logics of SE in the UK
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to argue that neoinstitutional theory can provide insights into the conflicts between social ends and economic means within social enterprises (SEs). Tensions between these differing institutional logics may be seen as a manifestation of ambiguity and incoherence in an
organizational field that is, despite many recent regulative and normative changes, still weakly institutionalized in the UK.
Design/methodology/approach – The research design adopts a qualitative approach and is based on semi-structured, in-depth interviews with 40 SE managers in four major UK cities.
Findings – Findings suggest that SE managers deal with the competing institutional logics of “the market” and “social care” in differing ways.
Research limitations/implications – The case studies are derived from major UK cities where SEs are more likely to be dependent on state and quasi-public sector forms of support.
Practical implications – Policies attempting to imbue a more commercial and business-like approach with the institutional field of SE should recognize the tensions imposed by such a shift. These tensions are especially pronounced in SEs affected by changes to state funding regimes and publicly
sponsored markets. In some situations, such market logic may be largely inappropriate.
Social implications – Changing institutional logics within an organizational field such as SE requires a recognition of the complex interrelationships between that factors that create and sustain such a field, most notably legal (regulative), educational (normative) and attitudinal (cognitive) factors.
1750-8614
303-320
Sunley, Peter
a3efb579-965f-4f39-812e-9e07caf15afd
Pinch, Steven
39982453-bdf8-4686-8018-b5b8b2030c6a
Sunley, Peter
a3efb579-965f-4f39-812e-9e07caf15afd
Pinch, Steven
39982453-bdf8-4686-8018-b5b8b2030c6a

Sunley, Peter and Pinch, Steven (2015) Social enterprise and neo-institutional theory: An evaluation of the organizational logics of SE in the UK. Social Enterprise Journal, 11 (3), 303-320.

Record type: Article

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to argue that neoinstitutional theory can provide insights into the conflicts between social ends and economic means within social enterprises (SEs). Tensions between these differing institutional logics may be seen as a manifestation of ambiguity and incoherence in an
organizational field that is, despite many recent regulative and normative changes, still weakly institutionalized in the UK.
Design/methodology/approach – The research design adopts a qualitative approach and is based on semi-structured, in-depth interviews with 40 SE managers in four major UK cities.
Findings – Findings suggest that SE managers deal with the competing institutional logics of “the market” and “social care” in differing ways.
Research limitations/implications – The case studies are derived from major UK cities where SEs are more likely to be dependent on state and quasi-public sector forms of support.
Practical implications – Policies attempting to imbue a more commercial and business-like approach with the institutional field of SE should recognize the tensions imposed by such a shift. These tensions are especially pronounced in SEs affected by changes to state funding regimes and publicly
sponsored markets. In some situations, such market logic may be largely inappropriate.
Social implications – Changing institutional logics within an organizational field such as SE requires a recognition of the complex interrelationships between that factors that create and sustain such a field, most notably legal (regulative), educational (normative) and attitudinal (cognitive) factors.

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SE LOGICS Main paper Updated - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 15 February 2015
Published date: 1 May 2015
Organisations: Economy, Governance & Culture, Geography & Environment

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 408698
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/408698
ISSN: 1750-8614
PURE UUID: b3aefc42-5296-4a2e-a1f0-3135e845b44d

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Date deposited: 26 May 2017 04:03
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 20:00

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