Social Enterprise Emergence from Social Movement Activism: The Fairphone Case

Journal of Management Studies (2016).

58 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2016

See all articles by Ona Akemu

Ona Akemu

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Gail Whiteman

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Business and Society Management

Steve Kennedy

RSM Erasmus University

Date Written: March 21, 2016

Abstract

Effectuation theory invests agency — intention and purposeful enactment — for a new venture creation in the entrepreneurial actor(s). Based on the results of a 15-month in-depth longitudinal case study of Amsterdam-based social enterprise Fairphone, we argue that effectual entrepreneurial agency is co-constituted by distributed agency, the proactive conferral of material resources and legitimacy to an eventual entrepreneur by heterogeneous actors external to a new venture. In the context of social movement activism, we show how an effectual network pre-committed resources to an inchoate social enterprise to produce a material artefact because it symbolised moral values of network members. We develop a model of social enterprise emergence based on these findings. We theorise the role of material artefacts in effectuation theory and suggest that, in the case, the artefact served as a boundary object, present in multiple social words and triggering commitment from actors not governed by hierarchical arrangements.

Keywords: Social entrepreneurship, effectuation, distributed agency, material artefacts, social movement, longitudinal case study

Suggested Citation

Akemu, Ona and Whiteman, Gail and Kennedy, Steve, Social Enterprise Emergence from Social Movement Activism: The Fairphone Case (March 21, 2016). Journal of Management Studies (2016)., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2752417

Ona Akemu (Contact Author)

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062
Netherlands

Gail Whiteman

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Business and Society Management ( email )

RSM Erasmus University
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Steve Kennedy

RSM Erasmus University ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-21
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands

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