Measuring to Improve Versus Measuring to Prove: Understanding the Adoption of Social Performance Measurement Practices in Nascent Social Enterprises

Measuring to Improve Versus Measuring to Prove: Understanding the Adoption of Social Performance... Social enterprises are described as organizations with dual objectives—social and commercial. While the measurement of commercial performance is relatively straightforward and well understood, our understanding of the factors related to measuring social performance is more ambiguous. Is the adoption of social performance measurement (SPM) practices more related to external pressures, such as the need to demonstrate legitimacy to funders and peers, or is it more closely related to the growing rationalization within the social sector? We examine the relationship between external and internal factors and the adoption of SPM using a novel dataset of 1864 nascent social enterprises from around the world. Our findings suggest support for the argument that the adoption of SPM in social enterprise is related to the growing rationalization of the social sector, which challenges some of the past research on this topic, and provides a more nuanced perspective of SPM in social enterprise. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations Springer Journals

Measuring to Improve Versus Measuring to Prove: Understanding the Adoption of Social Performance Measurement Practices in Nascent Social Enterprises

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by International Society for Third-Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University
Subject
Social Sciences; Social Sciences, general; Political Science; Social Policy
ISSN
0957-8765
eISSN
1573-7888
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11266-017-9898-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Social enterprises are described as organizations with dual objectives—social and commercial. While the measurement of commercial performance is relatively straightforward and well understood, our understanding of the factors related to measuring social performance is more ambiguous. Is the adoption of social performance measurement (SPM) practices more related to external pressures, such as the need to demonstrate legitimacy to funders and peers, or is it more closely related to the growing rationalization within the social sector? We examine the relationship between external and internal factors and the adoption of SPM using a novel dataset of 1864 nascent social enterprises from around the world. Our findings suggest support for the argument that the adoption of SPM in social enterprise is related to the growing rationalization of the social sector, which challenges some of the past research on this topic, and provides a more nuanced perspective of SPM in social enterprise.

Journal

VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit OrganizationsSpringer Journals

Published: Aug 2, 2017

References

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