Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of the factors that influence social entrepreneurial ventures’ (SEVs) pursuit of a blended value approach. This paper predicts and examines that the mindset of SEV senior decision-makers leads them to perceive organisational goals differently. Design/methodology/approach– This paper tests the hypotheses on an original data set of 171 SEVs by means of discriminant analysis. Findings– The results suggest that social entrepreneurs who display an agency-oriented mindset tend to perceive organisational goals as being single: either social or financial. Conversely, social entrepreneurs who have a stewardship-oriented mindset tend to perceive organisational goals as blending both. The findings also underline that senior decision-makers’ mindsets in terms of governance are far from being uniform in SEVs. Research limitations/implications– The findings empirically contribute to the argument that agency principles do apply to broader contexts than profit-oriented organisations (Wiseman et al., 2012) and frame SEVs as a promising context that redefines principal-agent relationships. It follows that the expected association between non-economic goals and stewardship put forward in the literature needs to be nuanced: only a blended value approach of social and financial objectives is associated with stewardship, whereas single social goals are best perceived by agency-oriented senior decision-makers. The results are limited to a single survey, using cross-sectional data. Practical implications– The findings have a bearing on goal setting in social entrepreneurship. The results suggest that practitioners who display a stewardship mindset are more likely to perceive a double bottom line than those displaying an agency mindset. Originality/value– A novel feature of the model is the incorporation of senior decision-makers’ heterogeneous “governance mindsets” (agency and stewardship) and one of the first empirical tests of blended value in social entrepreneurship.
Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 16, 2016
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