Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify important elements of the evaluation and definition of success in social entrepreneurship. It considers previous approaches and the lessons that can be learned from other fields of organizational studies. Design/methodology/approach – The method used is based upon an objective and subjective, social constructionist view of organizational success. The paper reviews the fields of strategy, organization theory, entrepreneurship and innovation to identify relevant frameworks, measures, definitions of success, and the implications of the choice of success measures on our understanding of various phenomena. Findings – From this perspective, it becomes apparent that how success and failure are defined is based on assumptions about the value of social enterprise and the nature of social change. In order to develop a deeper understanding of the drivers of social enterprise, there must be experimentation with a rich complement of success measures that are not limited to the triple bottom line. Practical implications – The paper is of use to social enterprise researchers, practitioners and consultants who are defining what it means for a social enterprise to be successful. The insights should allow for a more conscious evaluation of a range of potential success measures and the impacts they have on our social outcomes. Originality/value – Although measuring social enterprise success is recognized to be an important topic, most work in the field implicitly or explicitly identifies success based on a goal‐centred evaluation of the triple bottom line. The paper challenges this thinking to include subjectivity, causation, contestation, organizational form and the multiple polar dimensions that must be balanced by every organization. It draws on research from related fields that have already struggled with these issues and can offer valuable lessons for social enterprise.
Social Enterprise Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 16, 2011
Keywords: Performance metrics; Social change; Subjective; Objective; Organizational theory
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera