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.
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - Apr 2020|
|Event||The 27th Innovation and Product Development Conference - Antwerp, Belgium|
Duration: 8 Jun 2020 → 9 Jun 2020
|Conference||The 27th Innovation and Product Development Conference|
|Period||8/06/20 → 9/06/20|
- social innovation
- social enterprise