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Dual-goal management in social enterprises: evidence from China

Dual-goal management in social enterprises: evidence from China Taking China as a research context, the purpose of this paper is to delineate how social and business tensions manifest in Chinese nascent social enterprises and to disentangle the strategies that they adopt to manage the business-social dual goals to achieve organizational viability.Design/methodology/approachA qualitative multiple-case study is used to collect and analyze data. Empirical data are drawn from in-depth semi-structured interviews with Chinese social entrepreneurs, ethnographic observation of social enterprises as well as secondary sources.FindingsDepending on personal motivations and resource availability, social entrepreneurs’ perceptions toward pursuit of dual goals range from integration to differentiation in the short term, despite consensus on the concurrent development in the long term. The leverage of resources, image management, continuous innovation and need-based services are viable approaches that Chinese social enterprises adopt to manage the dual goals in order to create both social and economic value.Research limitations/implicationsThis paper reveals understanding of the concrete tensions experienced among Chinese nascent social enterprises in pursuing business and social goals and how they manage to integrate the synergistic aspects of social and business goals to achieve survival and growth. Based primarily on qualitative case study method, the research findings are context specific and may not be ideal for generalization.Practical implicationsThe authors reveal strategies by which synergistic benefits between dual goals may be achieved. Innovation (e.g. in resource utilization, in service format and content) and differentiation (e.g. in organization positioning) would be beneficial in enhancing the competitiveness of social enterprises. To enhance organizations’ credibility, quality of products and service should be monitored and organizational transparency needs to be enhanced.Social implicationsIt is suggested that the government specifies legal forms and legitimates interests of social enterprises, formulates preferential policies to stimulate the development of social enterprises, and develops a set of qualification authentication system to regulate this emerging sector.Originality/valueThe study examines the manifestation of business and social tensions and presents dual-goal management strategies from a non-western perspective. As an original contribution to the field of social entrepreneurship, the study responds to calls for in-depth analysis of conflicting objectives and tension management in social enterprises. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Management Decision Emerald Publishing

Dual-goal management in social enterprises: evidence from China

Management Decision , Volume 57 (6): 20 – Jun 21, 2019

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References (67)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0025-1747
DOI
10.1108/md-02-2017-0170
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Taking China as a research context, the purpose of this paper is to delineate how social and business tensions manifest in Chinese nascent social enterprises and to disentangle the strategies that they adopt to manage the business-social dual goals to achieve organizational viability.Design/methodology/approachA qualitative multiple-case study is used to collect and analyze data. Empirical data are drawn from in-depth semi-structured interviews with Chinese social entrepreneurs, ethnographic observation of social enterprises as well as secondary sources.FindingsDepending on personal motivations and resource availability, social entrepreneurs’ perceptions toward pursuit of dual goals range from integration to differentiation in the short term, despite consensus on the concurrent development in the long term. The leverage of resources, image management, continuous innovation and need-based services are viable approaches that Chinese social enterprises adopt to manage the dual goals in order to create both social and economic value.Research limitations/implicationsThis paper reveals understanding of the concrete tensions experienced among Chinese nascent social enterprises in pursuing business and social goals and how they manage to integrate the synergistic aspects of social and business goals to achieve survival and growth. Based primarily on qualitative case study method, the research findings are context specific and may not be ideal for generalization.Practical implicationsThe authors reveal strategies by which synergistic benefits between dual goals may be achieved. Innovation (e.g. in resource utilization, in service format and content) and differentiation (e.g. in organization positioning) would be beneficial in enhancing the competitiveness of social enterprises. To enhance organizations’ credibility, quality of products and service should be monitored and organizational transparency needs to be enhanced.Social implicationsIt is suggested that the government specifies legal forms and legitimates interests of social enterprises, formulates preferential policies to stimulate the development of social enterprises, and develops a set of qualification authentication system to regulate this emerging sector.Originality/valueThe study examines the manifestation of business and social tensions and presents dual-goal management strategies from a non-western perspective. As an original contribution to the field of social entrepreneurship, the study responds to calls for in-depth analysis of conflicting objectives and tension management in social enterprises.

Journal

Management DecisionEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 21, 2019

Keywords: China; Social enterprise; Hybridity; Tension; Dual-goal management

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