The Social Case as a Business Case: Making Sense of Social Entrepreneurship from an Ordonomic Perspective
Leuphana University Lueneburg
November 1, 2009
This article discusses how the theoretical perspective of ordonomics provides a framework for better understanding and advancing the practice of social entrepreneurship. From an ordonomic perspective, the concept of social entrepreneurship offers a semantic innovation (at the ideas level) whose potential for social innovation can be fully reaped only if it is used as a heuristics for social structural change (on the institutions level). Social entrepreneurs recognize relevant social problems, interpret them as an entrepreneurial challenge, and succeed in turning what was a social case into a business case in a broader sense. Using the real-life example of a successful eco-social entrepreneur, the article demonstrates that such win-win solutions can be reconstructed as the sophisticated management of social dilemmas. It sketches a strategy matrix for the practice of social entrepreneurship and distinguishes four paradigmatic strategies social entrepreneurs can employ to create win-win scenarios by changing the rules of the game to overcome undesirable social dilemmas. The article concludes by discussing social entrepreneurship in the context of new governance processes and highlights key similarities and differences to the concept of corporate citizenship.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 29
Keywords: Social Entrepreneurship, Ordonomics, Commitments, Strategic Management, Corporate Citizenship, Semantics, Social Structure, Business Ethics
JEL Classification: D02, D63, L21, M13, M14working papers series
Date posted: December 10, 2009
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