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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 detailManagers’ competences in social enterprises: which specificities?
Moreau, Charlotte ULg; Mertens de Wilmars, Sybille ULg

in Social Enterprise Journal (2013), 9(2), 164-183

The management of an organization and the context within which this organization evolves are recognized as two important aspects of any organization. Few studies have been conducted however on the ... [more ▼]

The management of an organization and the context within which this organization evolves are recognized as two important aspects of any organization. Few studies have been conducted however on the management function within the specific context of social enterprises, organizations that mix social goals and economic imperatives (Darbus & Lazuech, 2010). This paper examines the specific competences of management in social enterprises, by constructing a competence model, the emblematic tool of competence-based management, relevant to the management of social enterprises (Colin & Grasser, 2007; Oiry & Sulzer, 2002; Retour & Rapiaux, 2006). Our hypothesis is that certain competences required of managers in social enterprises are specific, regarding the particular internal and external context of social enterprises, the governance model, etc. The methodology used is based on four main steps: a review of the literature and the conducting of exploratory interviews, the construction of a first draft of the competence model, the conducting of group interviews with managers of social enterprises in six European countries as this research takes place within the framework of a European research project on lifelong learning , and the final adaptation and validation of the competence model. [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 detailBook review: Fair trade organizations and social enterprise: Social innovation through hybrid organization models
Dufays, Frédéric ULg

in Social Enterprise Journal (2013), 9(1), 123-124

Through sociological and economic institutional theory lenses, Huybrechts explains the organizational diversity existing among Fair Trade intermediaries in the North.

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See detailEmerging Models of Social Enterprise in Eastern Asia: a Cross-Country Analysis
Defourny, Jacques ULg; Kim, Shin-Yang

in Social Enterprise Journal (2011), vol. 7(1), 86-111

We first examine the socio-economic contexts in which new public policies and new NPOs’ initiatives were launched to offer innovative solutions to current challenges, especially unemployment. Interactions ... [more ▼]

We first examine the socio-economic contexts in which new public policies and new NPOs’ initiatives were launched to offer innovative solutions to current challenges, especially unemployment. Interactions between Eastern Asia and Western regions (EU, US) are also analysed as to experiments and conceptions of social enterprise. In order to identify major convergences and divergences across countries in Eastern Asia, we rely on country studies presented in this issue as well as on a broad literature, related more specifically to the development and roles of NPOs and co-operatives in this region. Five major models of social enterprise with specific dynamics can be identified in Eastern Asia. State influence and driving forces linked to public policies make these models rather different from the typical US social enterprise; as for the role of civil society, it seems weaker than in Western contexts but is growing significantly. Co-operative movements also play a significant role in shaping some social enterprise models. Finally, two conditions identified as critical for the development of social economy organisations – a "condition of necessity" and a "condition of shared destiny" - seem to be valid in Eastern Asia as well, provided they are properly reinterpreted. The present analysis, just like the other four papers in this issue, is a result of a joint research project of the EMES European Research Network and East-Asian researchers. Country studies were conducted along common broad guidelines, and they were discussed and revised at various stages, which insured a fairly good level of comparability. Moreover, this seems to be the first systematic comparative analysis on social enterprise involving all industrialised countries in Eastern Asia. [less ▲]

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See detailAre there specific models of social enterprise in Eastern Asia?
Defourny, Jacques ULg; Kuan, Yu Yuan

in Social Enterprise Journal (2011), 7(1), 5-8

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See detailLes modèles de l'entrepreneuriat social en Asie de l'Est
Defourny, Jacques ULg

in Social Enterprise Journal (2011), 7(1), 86-111

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See detailSocial enterprise in South Korea: history and diversity
Bidet, Eric; Eum, Hyung Sik ULg

in Social Enterprise Journal (2011), 7(1), 69-85

Purpose – This paper aims to deal with the history and main features of social enterprises in South Korea, where a specific legal framework was enacted in 2006. Design/methodology/approach – The analysis ... [more ▼]

Purpose – This paper aims to deal with the history and main features of social enterprises in South Korea, where a specific legal framework was enacted in 2006. Design/methodology/approach – The analysis emphasises an economic sociological approach mixing economic considerations, political features and social aspects. The mobilised information comes from previous works realised by the authors on that topic as well as from updated statistics and data about policies, laws and regulations. Findings – The study underlines that the emergence of social enterprises in South Korea was rooted in civil society and citizens' movements before it became a priority on the government's agenda. The result is the co-existence of several forms of social enterprise with distinctive features: social enterprises certified by the official label, on the one hand, and de facto social enterprises, defined as such because of their practices, goals and values, on the other hand. Such a situation generates a growing tension between the priorities and values emphasised by the political sphere and by the civil society. Research limitations/implications – Social enterprise is an emerging field of interest and a recent phenomenon, constantly in progress; consequently, systematic data on the field are still lacking, and researchers do not have enough hindsight to learn definitive lessons and draw broad conclusions of statistical significance. Originality/value – The paper sheds light on a phenomenon that is multi-dimensional and is rapidly evolving. It provides a better comprehension of South Korean political choices and socio-economic changes and can help to anticipate future evolutions and to shape related policies to deal with work integration and the promotion of welfare-mix in the field of social services provision. It also brings information and learning for cross-country comparative studies. [less ▲]

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See detailSocial Enterprise in Eastern Asia
Defourny, Jacques ULg; Kuan, Yu Yuan

in Social Enterprise Journal (2011), 7(1), 111

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See detailThe governance of fair trade social enterprises in Belgium
Huybrechts, Benjamin ULg

in Social Enterprise Journal (2010), 6(2), 110-124

Purpose – This article addresses the governance of “Fair Trade Social Enterprises” (FTSEs), i.e., the organisations exclusively dedicated to the import, distribution and/or labelling of fairly traded ... [more ▼]

Purpose – This article addresses the governance of “Fair Trade Social Enterprises” (FTSEs), i.e., the organisations exclusively dedicated to the import, distribution and/or labelling of fairly traded products. The aims are (1) to describe and categorise the types of persons and stakeholder groups represented in FTSEs’ governance structures and (2) to look at the link between stakeholder involvement and other organisational features such as resources, goals and activities. Design/methodology/approach – These questions are investigated through a qualitative field study based on face-to-face interviews with the managers of 15 Belgian FTSEs. Findings – I distinguish three governance models each entailing different governance paradigms: the managerial model, the volunteer-based model and the multi-stakeholder model. In the three governance models, it is possible to link, to a certain extent, the composition of the governance structures, the access to resources and the goal priorities regarding the different dimensions of the FT activity. In brief, governance appears as an organisational entry revealing much information about the vision and the strategy of the FTSEs. Research limitations/implications – This study is limited to Belgian FTSEs and must be considered as one of the first attempts in characterising the specific features and challenges of organisational governance in the FT context. International comparative studies exploring FTSE’s governance in a more longitudinal perspective, combining the standpoints of diverse organisational actors, would be most welcome in the future. Originality/value – As this article shows, the multidimensional nature of FT and the coexistence of different types of FTSEs in the same country make this a very interesting field to investigate the challenges of governance in social enterprises. Social enterprises and those researching them should pay more attention to the importance of adopting and conceiving governance schemes that are adapted to their multiple missions and enable the access to multiple resources. [less ▲]

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See detailSocial enterprise models in Eastern Asia
Defourny, Jacques ULg; Kim, Shin-Yang

in Social Enterprise Journal (2010), 7(1), 86-111

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See detailAre Fair Trade Organizations necessarily Social Enterprises?
Huybrechts, Benjamin ULg; Defourny, Jacques ULg

in Social Enterprise Journal (2008), 4(3), 186-201

Purpose – Fair trade organisations (FTOs) have been taken quite early as examples of Social Enterprises (SE) and have contributed to the shaping of the SE concept. The purpose of this paper is to examine ... [more ▼]

Purpose – Fair trade organisations (FTOs) have been taken quite early as examples of Social Enterprises (SE) and have contributed to the shaping of the SE concept. The purpose of this paper is to examine more deeply the link between FTOs and SE, both at a conceptual and at an empirical level. Design/methodology/approach – First, different theoretical frameworks of SE are introduced and confront FT to each of these frameworks. The second step is an empirical study of FTOs across four European countries to illustrate and deepen the links between FT and SE, focusing on the goals and the governance structures of FTOs. Findings – All the FTOs combine in some way economic, social and sometimes also political goals. FTOs are thus coherent to the “hybrid goals” nature of SEs. FTOs' governance is also quite specific and often innovative in terms of organisational architecture and stakeholders' involvement. Some FTOs are closer to the European – participatory – approach while others are closer to US – individual – approaches. Finally, the governance structures of FTOs seem to reflect quite well their goal mix. Research limitations/implications – This paper provides a more solid basis for the often implicit link between FT and SE. Future researches could use this work to explore specific topics of the SE literature in the context of FT (e.g. stakeholders' involvement). The FT example could also be used to examine further the shifting boundaries of the SE reality. Originality/value – The originality of this paper is to apply the SE concept to a specific field and to show how, within this field, there is at the same time a diversity of organisations, reflecting the diversity of SE approaches; and a range of specific features (especially in terms of goal mix and governance) distinguishing SEs from other types of organisations. [less ▲]

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See detailSocial Enterprise in Europe : Recent Trends and Developments
Defourny, Jacques ULg; Nyssens, Marthe

in Social Enterprise Journal (2008), 4(3),

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