Building legitimacy for social innovations in social enterprises: Variations across categories of stakeholders and types of innovation

Raluca Bunduchi, Alison Smart, Catalina Crisan-Mitra

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

Because of their reliance on stakeholders to access resources, social enterprises ability to develop and implement social innovation depends on their legitimacy-building efforts with a wide variety of heterogeneous stakeholders. We examine here the legitimacy-building efforts involved in social innovation, exploring in particular whether social innovators vary their efforts depending on the category of stakeholders targeted, and on the type of innovation pursued. We conduct a multi-case study research involving twelve successful SE delivering social innovations. We find that successful SEs legitimise their social innovations to a variety of external and internal stakeholders by balancing the economic and social missions, and by complementing efforts to create a new supportive environment to achieve social change with more extensive efforts to conform to stakeholders’ expectations. We also find that successful SE adjust their legitimation efforts to the type of stakeholders targeted, and to the nature of social innovation developed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Apr 2020
EventThe 27th Innovation and Product Development Conference - Antwerp, Belgium
Duration: 8 Jun 20209 Jun 2020
https://www.eiasm.org/frontoffice/event_announcement.asp?event_id=1421

Conference

ConferenceThe 27th Innovation and Product Development Conference
CountryBelgium
CityAntwerp,
Period8/06/209/06/20
Internet address

Keywords

  • legitimacy
  • social innovation
  • social enterprise
  • stakeholders

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