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See detailSustaining Inter-Organizational Relationships across Institutional Logics and Power Asymmetries: the Case of Fair Trade
Nicholls, Alex; Huybrechts, Benjamin ULg

in Journal of Business Ethics (in press)

In Fair Trade (FT), as well as in other ‘mixed-form’ fields (Becchetti & Huybrechts 2008; Marwell & McInerney 2005), non-profit organizations and social enterprises have been partnering with large ... [more ▼]

In Fair Trade (FT), as well as in other ‘mixed-form’ fields (Becchetti & Huybrechts 2008; Marwell & McInerney 2005), non-profit organizations and social enterprises have been partnering with large corporations over long time periods despite the presence of conditions that might be expected to destabilize such relationships. These conditions include striking differences in size, economic power, and organizational goals or ‘logics’. Given these asymmetries, the collaborations are typically seen as problematic and temporary because the stronger party (the corporation) will impose its (market) logics upon the weaker one (the social enterprise), leading to either instrumentalizing and corrupting the latter or to the breakdown of the collaboration. Whilst some of the literature on FT and other market-oriented social movements has tended to depict corporate participation as a threat to the original goals of the social movement and to the integrity of partnering social enterprises (e.g. Fridell et al. 2008; Reed 2009), there is evidence of a set of social enterprise-corporate relationships that persist over time and cannot be simply summarized as dominated by the sole corporate, market logic. These examples illustrate the emergence of new working relationships across the conventional divides between distinct sectors – the public, private, and civil society – that offer new approaches to managing power asymmetries and apparently conflicting logics – typically, in FT and more generally in social entrepreneurship, market and social justice/welfare logics (Battilana & Lee 2014; Defourny & Nyssens 2006; Huybrechts & Nicholls 2012; Smith et al. forthcoming). This leads to the following research question: Under what conditions can inter-organizational relationships emerge and be sustained despite power asymmetries and the presence of distinct, potentially conflicting, institutional logics? The analysis in this paper aims to extend theory by providing an alternative to more deterministic analyses of inter-organizational relationships that suggest that the more powerful actor will always impose its logics upon the less powerful organization thus undermining the persistence of the relationship over time. In the process, this research adds a new construct to existing theory around the resolution of conflict in institutional logics by suggesting that dynamic persistence is also evident in contrast to examples of conflict resolution through dominance, compromise, hybridization, synthesis, or relationship breakdown. Based on the analysis of the relationships between commercial buyers and FTOs, initially embodying market and social justice logics respectively, this paper proposes a set of key conditions under which dynamic persistence can be observed even in the presence of power asymmetries. [less ▲]

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See detailFair Trade and Social Enterprise
Huybrechts, Benjamin ULg

in Raynolds, Laura; Bennett, Elizabeth (Eds.) The Handbook of Research on Fair Trade (2015)

This chapter suggests that the notion of ‘social enterprise’ is useful to capture the DNA of organizations focused on fair trade and to locate them within a broader organizational taxonomy. Without ... [more ▼]

This chapter suggests that the notion of ‘social enterprise’ is useful to capture the DNA of organizations focused on fair trade and to locate them within a broader organizational taxonomy. Without seeking to impose a new term that may not resonate for certain actors or regions, this chapter aims to bring two contributions to fair trade research and practice. First, it is suggested that the social enterprise approach is particularly useful as an analytical tool enabling researchers and other stakeholders to capture the evolution and diversification of organizational models in fair trade. Second, the use of a broader organizational approach that is not specific to the sole fair trade sector allows for connections with similar organizations in other sectors and brings a shift from considering mainly what the organizations do (fair trade in this case) towards also addressing what they are (innovative social enterprise models combining market dynamics with social purpose). This chapter is structured as follows. First, the concept of social enterprise is introduced and discussed. Then, the evolution of the organizational landscape of fair trade (in the North) is summarized. Finally, fair trade organizations are examined in the light of the social enterprise concept, with illustrations from a study in four European countries (Huybrechts 2010a; 2012). [less ▲]

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See detailThe emergence of hybrids: Imprinting from the entrepreneurial team heterogeneity
Dufays, Frédéric ULg; Huybrechts, Benjamin ULg

Conference (2014, July 03)

This conceptual paper deals with the emergence of hybrids by developing a process model that crosses levels of analysis. It aims to explain how heterogeneity in an entrepreneurial team may translate into ... [more ▼]

This conceptual paper deals with the emergence of hybrids by developing a process model that crosses levels of analysis. It aims to explain how heterogeneity in an entrepreneurial team may translate into the creation of a hybrid organization. [less ▲]

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See detailExplaining stakeholder involvement in social enterprise governance through resources and legitimacy
Huybrechts, Benjamin ULg; Mertens de Wilmars, Sybille ULg; Rijpens, Julie ULg

in Defourny, Jacques; Hulgard, Lars; Pestoff, Victor (Eds.) Social Enterprise and the Third Sector: Changing European Landscapes in a Comparative Perspective (2014)

In the continuity of stakeholder theory, much of the current literature on (corporate) governance and business ethics looks at how organizations involve their stakeholders at different decision-making ... [more ▼]

In the continuity of stakeholder theory, much of the current literature on (corporate) governance and business ethics looks at how organizations involve their stakeholders at different decision-making levels (Carroll 2004; Clarkson 1995; de Graaf & Herkströter 2007; Freeman & Reed 1983). According to Freeman (1984), stakeholders are ‘any group or individual who can affect or is affected by the achievement of an organization's purpose’ (148); typically: the owners, the managers, the workers, the volunteers, the financing bodies, the partners, the suppliers, the customers/beneficiaries, etc. A continuum of involvement can be highlighted, from the rather passive strategies (stakeholder information) to the more active ones (stakeholder representation). Among the latter, involvement or ‘cooptation’ of stakeholders in the governance structures such as the general assembly and the board of directors is increasingly presented as a strategy mirroring a long-term relationship between the organization and a particular stakeholder category (Mitchell et al. 1997). Traditionally, the owners are the category of stakeholders that is co-opted in the governance structures. Indeed, the power of decision is part of the property rights (Milgrom & Roberts 1992). It allows owners to ensure that the enterprise is run according to their own objectives. Thus, in for-profit enterprises, the investors are the owners and, as such, they have the right to decide. They exercise this right by their presence at the general assembly. But not all enterprises are investors-owned firms. In some enterprises, ownership is in the hand of other stakeholders, like in producer, consumer or worker cooperatives. Others, like nonprofit organizations, can even be seen as firms without owners (Hansmann 1996). This chapter raises the question of stakeholder involvement in social enterprises, which are ‘non-investor owned’ and can broadly be defined here as organizations pursuing social aims through their economic activity (Defourny 2001; Defourny & Nyssens 2006). In these organizations, the configuration of stakeholder involvement contrasts with that of for-profit businesses in at least two ways. First, social enterprises are more likely than other types of organizations to be set up through a process of collective entrepreneurship which often involves a diversity of actors who each have a ‘stake’ in the pursuit of one or several organizational missions (Defourny & Nyssens 2006; Haugh 2007; Petrella 2003). Second, social enterprises seem to have a stronger tendency to give a voice to the actors with whom they interact –i.e., to involve their beneficiaries, supporters, funders or partners within their governance structures (Campi et al. 2006; Huybrechts 2010; Münkner 2004; Rijpens 2010). They usually use legal forms that allow and encourage economic democracy by recognizing stakeholders other than investors the right to participate formally in the governance bodies. While, as suggested by Campi et al. (2006; 2012), the presence of multiple stakeholders observed in a number of social enterprises may be linked with the diverse goals pursued by these organizations, such presence –or absence– may be due to many factors which have no direct links with organizational goals. As suggested in this chapter, the organizational need for resources (in a broad sense) and the drive to conform to external expectations may be two key factors. In any case, the diversified patterns of stakeholder involvement in social enterprises confirm the need for a more comprehensive account of stakeholder involvement in these organizations. Although several attempts have been made to theorize stakeholder involvement in social enterprise governance, it is still a much under-researched topic. We believe that this research gap is due not only to the infancy stage in which social enterprise research is located, but also to a lack of connection and integration of this research within the broader study of organizations. Indeed, while new theoretical developments centered on the specific features of social enterprise are needed, these developments cannot be made independently from the knowledge built for more than a century regarding how organizations are structured and operate. This chapter aims to examine stakeholder involvement in social enterprise governance using two types of theoretical lenses each embodying a rich research tradition in organization theory. The first lens refers to strategy and examines organizations (in this case governance structures) in terms of their dependency on a set of resources. The second lens uses legitimacy arguments to explain organizational governance as a social construct located in a broader setting of social relationships. The first two sections will present each of these views and examine their contributions to understanding stakeholder involvement in the governance structures of social enterprises. Then, a comparative case study on work integration social enterprises will serve to illustrate how both research avenues can be combined so as to better grasp social enterprise governance as a complex and multi-dimensional practice. [less ▲]

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See detailConnecting the dots for social value: A review on social networks and social entrepreneurship
Dufays, Frédéric ULg; Huybrechts, Benjamin ULg

in Journal of Social Entrepreneurship (2014), 5(2), 214-237

The emergence of social entrepreneurship has been explained at the macro-level (socioeconomic drivers), at the meso-level (concepts such as opportunity), and at the micro-level (motivations and intentions ... [more ▼]

The emergence of social entrepreneurship has been explained at the macro-level (socioeconomic drivers), at the meso-level (concepts such as opportunity), and at the micro-level (motivations and intentions of social entrepreneurs). In this conceptual article, it is argued that the sociology of social networks may contribute to explain how and why social entrepreneurship arises by bridging micro- and macro-levels of analysis. Four different usages of the social network concept in the social entrepreneurship literature are identified: embeddedness of social entrepreneurship, collective social entrepreneurship, networking as a critical skill or activity of social entrepreneurship, and finally networking and the creation of social capital as a goal of social entrepreneurship. Theoretical frameworks explaining the emergence of conventional entrepreneurship with a social network lens are identified. These are evaluated with regard to social entrepreneurship and translated into a set of research proposals to be explored in order to strengthen our understanding of social entrepreneurship emergence. [less ▲]

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See detailThe relevance of the cooperative model in the field of renewable energy
Huybrechts, Benjamin ULg; Mertens de Wilmars, Sybille ULg

in Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics = Annales de l'Economie Publique, Sociale et Coopérative (2014), 85(2), 193-212

This article examines the relevance of the cooperative model in the field of renewable energy (RE). RE sources have been developed since the end of the 1970s and their growth has been expansive since then ... [more ▼]

This article examines the relevance of the cooperative model in the field of renewable energy (RE). RE sources have been developed since the end of the 1970s and their growth has been expansive since then. While social-ecological movements have been instrumental in shifting the public attention towards the need for alternative energies (Sine and Lee, 2009), in most countries the sector has rapidly become dominated by corporate actors experienced in building large-scale RE projects. In an attempt to counter the corporate hegemony and to protect available lands, a range of citizen initiatives have emerged under different forms and names such as community energy groups or renewable energy (source) cooperatives (van der Horst, 2008; Willis and Willis, 2012; Lipp et al., 2012; Schreuer and Weismeier-Sammer, 2010; Weismeier-Sammer and Reiner, 2011). Pioneering examples include EWS in Germany, Enercoop in France, Energy4All in the UK, or Ecopower in Belgium. As these citizen groups tend to adopt the cooperative model, or a related form depending on the local legislation and context, it seems important to understand what are the specific features, assets and limitations of this model in the field of RE. Indeed, while ‘traditional’ cooperatives operating for a long time in fields such as banking, agriculture, or retail, have received an important attention in the cooperative literature, much work still needs to be done to understand why and how cooperatives emerge either in fields in which they have not traditionally been widespread (such as health and care, services, etc.), or in ‘new’ fields or sub-fields (such as fair trade, microfinance or renewable energy). Research is even more needed insofar as ‘new’ cooperatives tend to differ from traditional ones in several ways, for instance through the involvement of multiple stakeholders (rather than a dominant one such as producers, consumers or workers) or through a stronger orientation towards general interest goals (beyond traditional mutual interest at the basis of most cooperatives). While RE cooperatives have strongly developed in countries such as Denmark (Lipp et al., 2012), Germany (Schreuer, 2012; Weismeier-Sammer and Reiner, 2011) and to a lesser extent the UK (Aitken, 2010; Kellett, 2007; Seyfang et al., 2012; van der Horst, 2008; Willis and Willis, 2012; Walker et al., 2007), their development has been much slower in other countries, particularly Southern Europe (Lipp et al., 2012). This seems to echo, to a certain extent, the general development of RE in these countries (Haas et al., 2011). Before mapping these differences against the background of RE development in these countries, it is necessary to understand how the assets and limits of the cooperative model apply to the particular case of RE. This is precisely the aim of this article. On the one hand, the assets of the cooperative model enable to understand why this form has been adopted by citizen groups and has developed in certain countries. On the other hand, the limits or weaknesses of the model enable to explain why cooperatives are still a minority in the field of RE and why their development is constrained by obstacles in certain countries. [less ▲]

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See detailOn the way to hybrid organizations? When worlds collide through collective entrepreneurship
Dufays, Frédéric ULg; Huybrechts, Benjamin ULg

Conference (2013, September 02)

This communication presents a model of collective entrepreneurship process, drawing on institutional theory (institutional logics) and on the sociology of social networks (structural hole). It argues that ... [more ▼]

This communication presents a model of collective entrepreneurship process, drawing on institutional theory (institutional logics) and on the sociology of social networks (structural hole). It argues that entrepreneurship might result from the association of bridge-builders, both in terms of structural hole bridging and in terms of institutional logics bridging. Individual as well as structural factors will influence the entrepreneurial outcome, in particular in the way the new organisation deals with the distinct logics. [less ▲]

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See detailConnecting the dots for social value: A review on social networks and social entrepreneurship
Dufays, Frédéric ULg; Huybrechts, Benjamin ULg

Conference (2013, September 02)

The emergence of social entrepreneurship has been explained at the macro-level (socioeconomic drivers), at the meso-level (concepts such as opportunity), and at the micro-level (motivations and intentions ... [more ▼]

The emergence of social entrepreneurship has been explained at the macro-level (socioeconomic drivers), at the meso-level (concepts such as opportunity), and at the micro-level (motivations and intentions of social entrepreneurs). In this conceptual article, we argue that the sociology of social networks may contribute to explain how and why social entrepreneurship arises by bridging micro- and macro-levels of analysis. We identify four different usages of the social network concept in the social entrepreneurship literature: embeddedness of social entrepreneurship, collective social entrepreneurship, networking as a critical skill or activity of social entrepreneurship, and finally networking and the creation of social capital as a goal of social entrepreneurship. Theoretical frameworks explaining the emergence of conventional entrepreneurship with a social network lens are identified. These are evaluated with regard to social entrepreneurship and suggested to constitute an important source of inspiration for future research. [less ▲]

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See detailL'entrepreneur, plus solidaire que solitaire
Dufays, Frédéric ULg; Huybrechts, Benjamin ULg

Article for general public (2013)

L'entrepreneuriat est souvent le résultat d'un processus collectif, contrairement à l'image de l'entrepreneur "héros solitaire" véhiculée. L'entrepreneuriat social est particulièrement représentatif en ce ... [more ▼]

L'entrepreneuriat est souvent le résultat d'un processus collectif, contrairement à l'image de l'entrepreneur "héros solitaire" véhiculée. L'entrepreneuriat social est particulièrement représentatif en ce qu'il intègre cette dimension collective dans ses structures de gouvernance. [less ▲]

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See detailLa gouvernance des coopératives en situation de conflit et de post-conflit
Niyungeko, Thadée ULg; Huybrechts, Benjamin ULg

E-print/Working paper (2013)

If governance has become, for many years, as a matter of paramount importance in traditional companies (Berle & Means, 1932), microfinance institutions have also not escaped this need (Rock et al. 1998 ... [more ▼]

If governance has become, for many years, as a matter of paramount importance in traditional companies (Berle & Means, 1932), microfinance institutions have also not escaped this need (Rock et al. 1998), there are about thirty years. Considered essential to address issues related to economic and social development (Wélé, 2009), governance is also emerging as an undeniable factor for to strengthen the financial performance and to increase awareness in microfinance institutions (Rock et al., 1998; Labie, 2001 Helms, 2006). Several authors have contributed to the understanding of corporate governance by using a variety of theoretical approaches (Jensen & Meckling (1976), Fama and Jensen (1983a) for Shareholders approach, Freeman (1984), Donaldson & Preston (1995) Hung (1998) for the stakeholder approach, Meyer and Rowan (1977), Mertens (2010), Muth & Donaldson (1998), Berle & Means (1932); Labie (2005a) for alternative approaches). Applied individually in cooperatives and organizations, these approaches have proved rather one-dimensional and illuminate one aspect of the Boards of Directors (Cornforth, 2004). Hence the need for an approach that integrates the insights of these perspectives has been felt. Thus, a perspective in terms of paradox (Cornforth, 2004) helped to highlight the dilemmas, paradoxes and tensions that boards of directors are facing. Several researchers have used this paradox perspective in different organizations (Demb & Neubauer, 1992 Wood, 1996; Sundaramurthy & Lewis, 2003), but it also did not take long. Criticized for focusing only on the board, this perspective paradox is also alleged to ignore the role of contextual factors. However, as argued by DiMaggio & Powell (1983), Meyer and Rowan (1977), environmental factors play an undeniable role in the way organizations make isomorphic. Rijpens & Adam (2011) also point out that the internal and external factors to the organization involved in the debate on the governance model adopted. Hudon and Seibel (2007) argue that conflicts and disasters seriously affect the socio-economic institutions, public governance, networks and social relations of citizens, including those related to the exchange or transfer of financial resources. This article examines the influence of armed conflict on the cooperatives’ governance. It is built around three fundamental questions. (1) What overlay the systems of cooperatives governance? (2) What is the theoretical model of governance adapted to cooperatives working in conflict situations? (3) How an armed conflict does it influence the cooperatives governance? To answer these questions, this article assumes, first, the confrontation of existing theoretical approaches in the literature on corporate governance in general and cooperatives in particular. It then develops a model of governance adapted to the conflict. Finally, that model will be tested after data collect from a qualitative field study based on the triangulation of information resources and interviews with key players in organizations under study in a country where microfinance institutions have evolved conflict situations. The results will be presented in another article. [less ▲]

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See detailOn the way to the hybrid organization? When worlds collide through collective entrepreneurship
Dufays, Frédéric ULg; Huybrechts, Benjamin ULg

Conference (2013, July)

This communication presents a model of collective entrepreneurship process, drawing on institutional theory (institutional logics) and on the sociology of social networks (structural hole). It argues that ... [more ▼]

This communication presents a model of collective entrepreneurship process, drawing on institutional theory (institutional logics) and on the sociology of social networks (structural hole). It argues that entrepreneurship might result from the association of bridge-builders, both in terms of structural hole bridging and in terms of institutional logics bridging. Individual as well as structural factors will influence the entrepreneurial outcome, in particular in the way the new organisation deals with the distinct logics. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Role of Legitimacy in Social Enterprise-Corporate Collaboration
Huybrechts, Benjamin ULg; Nicholls, Alex

in Social Enterprise Journal (2013), 9(2), 130-146

This research examines the collaborations between social enterprises (SEs) and corporations, which have been flourishing over the last decades. These collaborations differ from both philanthropic ... [more ▼]

This research examines the collaborations between social enterprises (SEs) and corporations, which have been flourishing over the last decades. These collaborations differ from both philanthropic partnerships and classical business alliances. Unlike the former, these collaborations are centred on the joint development of a product or service which represents a business opportunity for both the SE and the corporation. Unlike the latter, these collaborations contribute at least partially to the pursuit of a social mission, which is the main driver of the SE and may motivate the corporation as well. While most work on cross-sector collaboration examines the advantages of collaboration for the different types of organizations, we take a slightly different perspective, using institutional theory to look at the implications of collaboration in terms of organizational legitimacy. As organizational legitimacy is contingent on a given institutional field in which a number of stakeholders provide legitimacy based on patterns of appropriateness, questions emerge about what happens when organizations from different fields embodying different logics and responding to various legitimating stakeholders collaborate. Surprisingly, while institutional theory has become a widely used theoretical framework, it has only little been applied to examine interorganizational collaboration, let alone cross-sector collaboration between social enterprises and corporations. This research aims to fill this gap in order to enrich both the understanding of interorganizational collaboration and its implications in terms of organizational legitimacy, and the knowledge and practice of cross-sector collaboration. [less ▲]

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See detailSocial Enterprise, Social Innovation and Alternative Economies: Insights from Fair Trade and Renewable Energy
Huybrechts, Benjamin ULg

in Zademach, Hans-Martin; Hillebrand, Sebastian (Eds.) Alternative Economies and Spaces. New Perspectives for a Sustainable Economy (2013)

The transition towards a more sustainable economic system is increasingly seen as an urgency to respond to the social, environmental and economic challenges of our times. Mirroring this increased ... [more ▼]

The transition towards a more sustainable economic system is increasingly seen as an urgency to respond to the social, environmental and economic challenges of our times. Mirroring this increased attention, the scholarly literature on transition and transition management, “degrowth” and sustainable development (e.g., Loorbach, 2007, Boulanger, 2008) has considerably developed across a set of disciplines (sociology, geography, economics, engineering, etc.). The solutions put forth by the different literature streams vary to a large extent and rely on distinct if not opposed ideological foundations, from the radical, anti-consumerist vision of “degrowth” to the much softer and vaguer, reformist trend of “sustainable development”. Common to the different literature streams, however, is to mainly focus on two levels of analysis. First, the systemic level receives most attention when it comes to diagnoses of limitations in the extant system and exploration of what alternative – non-growth, post-transition or at least sustainable – systems or economies would look like. This focus on systems is logical given the scope of the expected (r)evolutions to undertake. It is also coherent with the main disciplines involved in this “macro-level” research effort: economics, sociology, political science, philosophy, etc. A second and subsequent level of analysis that has been considered lies at the other extreme of the continuum: the individual. Indeed, as the failures of the extant economic system have been linked to the unrealistic and ideologically oriented vision of the individual as an ever-calculating, utility-maximizing “homo oeconomicus” (Stiglitz, 2009), questions have arisen about the human behavior required to generate or at least participate in the alternative systems conceived at the macro level. Put another way, to what extent and in what sense do we need to change our individual behaviors, in terms of purchasing, working, voting, investing, moving, and acting in general, in order to liberate ourselves from the homo oeconomicus patterns and consider alternative behaviours that, put together, may contribute to alternative systems? This “micro-level” perspective has relied on work in psychology and anthropology in order to (re)discover new avenues for increased reflexivity and conscious action. Between the macro and micro perspectives lie a diversity of “meso” actors consisting of more or less formalized groups of individuals, organizations and institutions such as: public authorities (from local to global), businesses, civil society, educational institutions, etc. Much work has been undertaken on the role of these different types of “meso-actor” in the transition towards alternative economies, but in view of the author of this chapter this has been developed either in a superficial way, mentioning the different actors to engage in these processes, or using “black boxes” that suppose homogeneous sets of actors such as “companies” or “civil society actors”. In other words, although several case studies enter into the complexity of one or several of these black boxes, there is lack of clarity and depth in the study of how different types of actors, especially economic actors, may engage in and inspire societal change. In particular, little work makes the connection between how economic organizations function internally, and how they (may) act towards society (e.g., Moore et al., 2009). This chapter does not aim, of course, to fill this knowledge gap on its own. It intends to bring a modest contribution to understanding the role of meso actors and in particular economic organizations by focusing on one specific, under-researched but important actor that is social enterprise. As will be described further, social enterprises are still weakly defined and heterogeneous (Dart, 2004, Defourny and Nyssens, 2010, Huybrechts and Nicholls, 2012). Yet, they share two features that seem of particular interest in the debate mentioned here. First, they do not correspond to a neatly defined organizational category as they precisely lie at the intersection of two spheres that are commonly clearly separated and often opposed to each other: the market and the civil society. Such a “hybrid” nature offers the potential for a specific and original contribution to the debate on alternative economies and systems, insofar as hybridity is synonym for innovation and unconventional thinking, as this chapter aims to show. A second feature of social enterprises is their supposed coherence, at least theoretically, between internal functioning and external contribution. In other words, the new societal solutions that social enterprises offer through their products and services are supposed to be coherent with the solutions experimented within their very organizational structures. Despite their diversity and their obvious limitations, it is thus suggested here that examining social enterprises may offer at least two contributions to the discussion on alternative economies. First, by understanding the potential of hybridity, i.e. combination of distinct institutional patterns, to the reconfiguration of economic systems. Second, by highlighting the link between intra-organizational functioning and societal behavior, in order to show how engaging actors in building alternative economies must involve in one way or another these two dimensions. [less ▲]

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See detailTrickle-Up in Politics
Pollet, Ignace; Huybrechts, Benjamin ULg

in Pollet, Ignace; Van Ongevalle, Jan (Eds.) The Drive to Global Citizenship. Motivating people - Mapping public support - Measuring effects of global education (2013)

For a domain such as development cooperation, public support and awareness raising become particularly relevant in view of converting ideas and opinions current in society into political support, and ... [more ▼]

For a domain such as development cooperation, public support and awareness raising become particularly relevant in view of converting ideas and opinions current in society into political support, and eventually into a congruent policy. In this chapter, we first describe what is meant by the term political support. This is followed by an account of our research on the issue in the Belgian political world. A key question here is to which extent political parties are concerned about development cooperation. At the end of this chapter, we briefly sum up the policy implications of the way politics are capturing public support for foreign aid. [less ▲]

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See detailConnecting producers and consumers through fair and sustainable value chains
Doherty, Bob; Huybrechts, Benjamin ULg

in Social Enterprise Journal (2013), 9(1), 4-20

Purpose – This paper seeks to pinpoint the role played by social enterprises in the growth and mainstreaming of fair trade. Design/methodology/approach – The review encompasses seminal papers on the ... [more ▼]

Purpose – This paper seeks to pinpoint the role played by social enterprises in the growth and mainstreaming of fair trade. Design/methodology/approach – The review encompasses seminal papers on the growth and mainstreaming of fair trade. Findings – A crucial role is played by social enterprises in establishing fair trade in the mainstream. However this mainstreaming is contested and is argued by some to also lead to potential mission drift. Research limitations/implications – This review primarily investigates the Northern aspects of fair trade, in particular the role of social enterprise in the market growth of fair trade and its mainstreaming. However more research is required to unpack the producer perspectives of mainstreaming fair trade. Practical implications – The article investigates one of the pioneering fields of social enterprise to see what lessons can be drawn for other social enterprise sectors that have mainstream ambitions. Originality/value – This contribution provides a novel review to demonstrate the role played by social enterprise in the growth of fair trade. It argues that the dual mission of fair trade is out of balance and is in danger of becoming reduced to a certification scheme based on minimum compliance. However a rebalancing of social and commercial objectives and acknowledging the innovative approach of fair trade social enterprises would strengthen this pioneering social movement. [less ▲]

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See detailOrganisation du commerce équitable
Huybrechts, Benjamin ULg

in Blanchet, Vivien; Carimentrand, Aurélie (Eds.) Dictionnaire du commerce équitable (2012)

Définition et discussion de la notion d'organisation du commerce équitable

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See detailL'économie sociale et solidaire
Huybrechts, Benjamin ULg

in Blanchet, Vivien; Carimentrand, Aurélie (Eds.) Dictionnaire du commerce équitable (2012)

Définit l'économie sociale et solidaire et positionne le commerce équitable par rapport à cette notion

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See detailFair Trade Organizations and Social Enterprise. Social Innovation through Hybrid Organization Models
Huybrechts, Benjamin ULg

Book published by Routledge (2012)

For several decades, Fair Trade Social Enterprises (FTSEs) have set up partnerships with producer groups in the South and distributed the latter’s products through different types of channels in the North ... [more ▼]

For several decades, Fair Trade Social Enterprises (FTSEs) have set up partnerships with producer groups in the South and distributed the latter’s products through different types of channels in the North. However, while pioneers in the early years were relatively homogeneous (nonprofit organizations relying on voluntary work and selling through “worldshops”), organizational diversity has tremendously increased in recent times, including other types of legal forms, architectures, and governance models (volunteer-based, manager-based, multi-stakeholder, etc.). As a result, different categories of FTSEs now coexist in the sector with diverse missions and strategies. Since Fair Trade (FT) is a hybrid concept, entailing economic, social and political dimensions, the diversity of organizational models might reflect or enable different ways of articulating these dimensions. In other words, different organizational models might be suited for different ways of conceiving and practicing FT. Such an articulation through specific forms has been suggested by previous concepts that can be related to FT, such as cooperatives, the social economy, the solidarity economy, and, more recently, social enterprise. The latter is particularly useful as an umbrella concept that embraces the diverse types of FTSEs and accounts for their use of market mechanisms to pursue social innovation. This research first aims to explore and to structure FTSEs’ organizational diversity. For that purpose, the managers of 57 FTSEs were interviewed in four European regions: Belgium, France (Rhône-Alpes), the United Kingdom (England) and Italy (Rome). Based on the combinations of different elements of the organizational form, five categories emerge: individual FTSEs; entrepreneurial, business-form FTSEs; volunteer-based FTSEs; multi-stakeholder cooperative FTSEs; and group structures. Although certain FTSEs share features corresponding to several models, these categories seem adequate in the sense are relatively homogeneous and distinct from each other. The second question examines the factors or forces that lead FTSEs to adopt particular and diverse organizational forms. Using sociological and economic “new institutional” approaches, this book explores the influence of a number of factors on the organizational form: age, size, region, goals, activities, resources, and leaders’ profiles. From an economic standpoint, organizational diversity may be explained by the fact that FTSEs do not all produce the same types of goods when practicing FT. Thus, FTSEs will adopt the organizational form that minimizes their transaction costs in the production of particular goods. From a sociological standpoint, the analysis suggests that weak and sometimes conflicting institutional pressures explain organizational diversity. Indeed, uniformity is limited (within certain generations of FTSEs or in particular regions), although there is a dominant trend toward a stronger business orientation in the models. The third question examines how organizational actors within FTSEs experience and foster hybridity at the field level, thereby contributing to organizational diversification. Looking at six cases of FTSEs covering the different types of models, the strategic role of FTSEs is examined, as “institutional entrepreneurs” capable of influencing the environment in a way that legitimizes their own organizational model and secures their access to crucial resources. This strategic analysis allows for a more dynamic view of organizational models as “institutional bricolage”. Finally, the book ends with a number of recommendations for FT entrepreneurs on the strengths and the weaknesses of each organizational model. [less ▲]

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