Social Enterprise Emergence from Social Movement Activism: The Fairphone Case

32 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 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: July 2016

Abstract

Effectuation theory invests agency – intention and purposeful enactment – for 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 the new venture. We show how in the context of social movement activism, an effectual network pre‐committed resources to an inchoate social enterprise to produce a material artefact because it embodied the moral values of network members. We develop a model of social enterprise emergence based on these findings. We theorize 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: : distributed agency, effectuation, longitudinal case study, material artefacts, social entrepreneurship, social movement

Suggested Citation

Akemu, Ona and Whiteman, Gail and Kennedy, Steve, Social Enterprise Emergence from Social Movement Activism: The Fairphone Case (July 2016). Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 53, Issue 5, pp. 846-877, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2789223 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joms.12208

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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