Purpose To debate some of the commonlyheld assumptions about social enterprises.Designmethodologyapproach The three main assumptions that are commonly applied to the development and characteristics of social enterprises are discussed, namely that social enterprise must be a collective or democratic pursuit that social enterprise is institutionally different from earlier mechanisms designed to usher in a third way and that social enterprise is better than doing nothing. Analyses the development of these three assumptions through the framework offered by DiMaggio and Powell 1983 on institutional isomorphism.Findings There are indications that the social enterprises sector would benefit from more coops taking an evergreater market share in an everincreasing range of industries, but that this should be the outcome of decisions freely made by individual, autonomous organizations that are free to choose social enterprises over other available options. Concludes that the practical danger posed by the wrong kind of isomorphic tendencies is to the potential flourishing of alternative organizational forms, alternative business models, and alternative ways of seeing the economic world.Originalityvalue Clarifies some of the commonlyheld views concerning social enterprises.
Social Enterprise Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 1, 2006
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