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Beyond Philanthropy: Community Enterprise as a Basis for Corporate Citizenship

42 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2005  

Paul Tracey

University of Warwick - Warwick Business School

Nelson Phillips

Imperial College Business School

Helen Haugh

University of Cambridge - Judge Business School

Abstract

In this article we argue that the emergence of a new form of organisation - community enterprise - provides an alternative mechanism for corporations to behave in socially responsible ways. Community enterprises are distinguished from other third sector organisations by their generation of income through trading, rather than philanthropy and/or government subsidy, to finance their social goals. They also include democratic governance structures which allow members of the community or constituency they serve to participate in the management of the organisation. Partnerships between corporations and community enterprises therefore raise the possibility of corporations moving beyond philanthropic donations toward a more sustainable form of intervention involving long-term commitments to communities. At the same time they change substantively the nature of any collaboration by allowing relationships to proceed on the basis of mutual advantage, thereby broadening their appeal and scope. In doing so, partnerships build capacity and enfranchise communities in a way that avoids the paternalism that has traditionally characterised relationships between corporations and voluntary sector organisations. Power relations are transformed because partners are seen as sources of valuable assets, knowledge and expertise, rather than recipients of patronage or charity.

Keywords: Social enterprise, social entrepreneurship, community enterprise, corporate legitimacy, corporate social responsibility, local accountability, partnership

JEL Classification: M14

Suggested Citation

Tracey, Paul and Phillips, Nelson and Haugh, Helen, Beyond Philanthropy: Community Enterprise as a Basis for Corporate Citizenship. Journal of Business Ethics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=696641

Paul Tracey (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - Warwick Business School ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Nelson Phillips

Imperial College Business School ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London SW7 2AZ, SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Helen Haugh

University of Cambridge - Judge Business School ( email )

Trumpington Street
Cambridge, CB2 1AG
United Kingdom

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