Evaluating the labour productivity of social enterprises in comparison to SMEs in Australia

Evaluating the labour productivity of social enterprises in comparison to SMEs in Australia PurposeThe social economy – including not-for-profits, cooperatives, mutual organisations and social enterprises – is playing a stronger role than ever in the delivery of public policy. Yet, these organisations are often anecdotally viewed as relatively inefficient providers. The purpose of this paper is to compare the profitability and labour productivity of social enterprises in the State of Victoria in Australia with that of small- and medium-sized business enterprises (SMEs) in the same state. This paper found that, although social enterprises generally generated smaller profits and, therefore, could be less profitable, their relative level of labour productivity (value added and income to labour employed) was comparable or higher than that of SMEs. This paper responds to the need for comparative insights about social enterprise performance and considers the implications of these findings for new public governance.Design/methodology/approachThe social economy – including not-for-profits, cooperatives, mutual organisations and social enterprises – is playing a stronger role than ever in the delivery of public policy. Yet these organisations are often anecdotally viewed as relatively inefficient providers.FindingsThis paper found that, although social enterprises generally generated smaller profits and, therefore, could be less profitable, their relative level of labour productivity (value added and income to labour employed) was comparable or higher than that of SMEs. This paper responds to the need for comparative insights about social enterprise performance and considers the implications of these findings for new public governance.Originality/valueThis is the first work that has been done of this sort that has looked specifically at Australia circumstances. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Enterprise Journal Emerald Publishing

Evaluating the labour productivity of social enterprises in comparison to SMEs in Australia

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1750-8614
DOI
10.1108/SEJ-09-2018-0064
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe social economy – including not-for-profits, cooperatives, mutual organisations and social enterprises – is playing a stronger role than ever in the delivery of public policy. Yet, these organisations are often anecdotally viewed as relatively inefficient providers. The purpose of this paper is to compare the profitability and labour productivity of social enterprises in the State of Victoria in Australia with that of small- and medium-sized business enterprises (SMEs) in the same state. This paper found that, although social enterprises generally generated smaller profits and, therefore, could be less profitable, their relative level of labour productivity (value added and income to labour employed) was comparable or higher than that of SMEs. This paper responds to the need for comparative insights about social enterprise performance and considers the implications of these findings for new public governance.Design/methodology/approachThe social economy – including not-for-profits, cooperatives, mutual organisations and social enterprises – is playing a stronger role than ever in the delivery of public policy. Yet these organisations are often anecdotally viewed as relatively inefficient providers.FindingsThis paper found that, although social enterprises generally generated smaller profits and, therefore, could be less profitable, their relative level of labour productivity (value added and income to labour employed) was comparable or higher than that of SMEs. This paper responds to the need for comparative insights about social enterprise performance and considers the implications of these findings for new public governance.Originality/valueThis is the first work that has been done of this sort that has looked specifically at Australia circumstances.

Journal

Social Enterprise JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: May 24, 2019

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