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Vulnerable social enterprises: sensemaking of the COVID-19 crisis in the Czech Republic

Vulnerable social enterprises: sensemaking of the COVID-19 crisis in the Czech Republic Drawing on Weick’s sensemaking perspective, this study aims to describe how Czech social entrepreneurs shape the shared meaning of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and what approaches to the crisis the sensemaking process leads to.Design/methodology/approachThis study is based on the principles of grounded theory. Through in-depth interviews with 25 social entrepreneurs, it captures the entrepreneurs’ experience of the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of their understanding of social enterprise identity. Interviews with experts in the field of social entrepreneurship were also conducted to help achieve a deeper analysis of the entrepreneurial cases.FindingsResults of research show that despite the obstacles, most social entrepreneurs arrive at a positive redescription of the crisis. Enterprises not affected by the pandemic adopt a conventional approach. The most vulnerable enterprises are paralyzed and wait with uncertainty for future developments in their enterprise’s situation.Practical implicationsAs knowledge of vulnerabilities is a key prerequisite for crisis prevention, this research can serve as a useful material for business incubators and other institutions that provide mentoring and expertise to start-up social entrepreneurs including focus on crisis management implementation.Originality/valueThis study complements the theory of crisis sensemaking with the level of social entrepreneurship, which is characterized by a dichotomy of social and business goals that results in a specific shared meaning of identity which is tied to perceptions of vulnerabilities. This study describes the influence of perceived identity on coping with a crisis. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Enterprise Journal Emerald Publishing

Vulnerable social enterprises: sensemaking of the COVID-19 crisis in the Czech Republic

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References (71)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1750-8614
eISSN
1750-8614
DOI
10.1108/sej-06-2022-0054
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Drawing on Weick’s sensemaking perspective, this study aims to describe how Czech social entrepreneurs shape the shared meaning of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and what approaches to the crisis the sensemaking process leads to.Design/methodology/approachThis study is based on the principles of grounded theory. Through in-depth interviews with 25 social entrepreneurs, it captures the entrepreneurs’ experience of the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of their understanding of social enterprise identity. Interviews with experts in the field of social entrepreneurship were also conducted to help achieve a deeper analysis of the entrepreneurial cases.FindingsResults of research show that despite the obstacles, most social entrepreneurs arrive at a positive redescription of the crisis. Enterprises not affected by the pandemic adopt a conventional approach. The most vulnerable enterprises are paralyzed and wait with uncertainty for future developments in their enterprise’s situation.Practical implicationsAs knowledge of vulnerabilities is a key prerequisite for crisis prevention, this research can serve as a useful material for business incubators and other institutions that provide mentoring and expertise to start-up social entrepreneurs including focus on crisis management implementation.Originality/valueThis study complements the theory of crisis sensemaking with the level of social entrepreneurship, which is characterized by a dichotomy of social and business goals that results in a specific shared meaning of identity which is tied to perceptions of vulnerabilities. This study describes the influence of perceived identity on coping with a crisis.

Journal

Social Enterprise JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 11, 2023

Keywords: COVID-19; Crisis; Sensemaking; Social entrepreneurship; Vulnerabilities

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