PurposeThis paper aims to examine the concept of participatory governance through membership in the context of the tailor-made legal form for social enterprises in Greece, i.e. the social cooperative enterprise (Koinsep). As such, the paper aims to contribute to the theoretical discussion regarding the participation of stakeholders in the governance of social enterprises not only as a theoretical construct prescribed by law but also by examining its implementation in practice.Design/methodology/approachThe development of two in-depth case studies demonstrate whether and how the application and implementation of legal requirements regarding governance and membership permit and encourage stakeholders to participate in the decision-making processes of social enterprises. The study accordingly showcases the influence exerted by the legal regime over the social enterprise.FindingsThe case studies demonstrate how participatory governance is not realised in a formal manner in the organisational set-up of two social enterprises. It thereby shows how stakeholders and employees participate informally in the decision-making processes of Greek social enterprises, although legislation is conducive to formal means of participation.Research limitations/implicationsThis study is part of a larger project involving a comparative research of tailor-made legal forms of social enterprises and corresponding organisations in three jurisdictions, i.e. Greece, Belgium, and the UK. In this study, the research was limited to the legal form of Koinsep.Practical implicationsThis paper also contributes to the development of a better understanding of the Koinsep as a new tailor-made legal form for social enterprises in Greece. It therefore, sheds light in its function and its participatory governance structure.Originality/valueThe study is an original attempt to theoretically and practically examine the subject of participatory governance in the Greek social enterprises context.
Corporate Governance – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 7, 2017