How social enterprises acquire and manage resources
The purpose of this dissertation is to explore how social enterprises acquire and manage resources. Using the definition proposed by Zahra, Gedajlovic, Neubaum & Shulman, (2009, p.521) social entrepreneurship is framed in the context of incorporating “actions and processes taken on to discover, define and exploit opportunities to enhance social wealth by creating new ventures or managing existing organizations in an innovative way”. The resource based view and the notion of dynamic capabilities is used as a theoretical foundation for a multiple case study analysis.
Using a qualitative, inductive approach, three social enterprise cases are analysed to gain a deeper understanding around how resources are acquired and managed. Through inductive theory building, emergent findings were compared with existing resource based view and dynamic capabilities literature to form insights into relating concepts.
The research conducted indicate two broad themes: acquiring start-up resources and managing / configuring resources. From these two broad themes a series of patterns are revealed, describing key processes and strategies that span across cases. The findings, illustrate and support a resource based view of a social enterprise, extending our understanding of the resource based view in a social entrepreneurship context.
Furthermore, implications for the wider literature are put forth to extend our understanding of the acquisition and management of resources in social enterprises. In addition to these implications, suggestions for developing future best practices are expressed to encourage and support budding entrepreneurs in founding a social enterprise.