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Small Scale Entrepreneurs’ Potential for Driving Community Development
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Innovation and Design.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Innovation and Design.
2014 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Aim of the paperThe purpose of this study is to examine and illustrate the interplay between individual entrepreneurs and the organization in social entrepreneurship towards achieving community development. The study focused on addressing two research questions to achieve this aim. First, what role can passionate individuals play in social entrepreneurship? Second, how does the social entrepreneur’s personal performance feed back to the individual? Contribution to the literature The findings make a series of contributions to research. Foremost, the present study provides empirical evidence on how the leader as an individual is important for the social venture. Little previous research has focused on this aspect of organizational management. Instead, theoretical research has focused on conceptualizing social entrepreneurship (e.g., Haugh, 2007; Lumpkin et al., 2013; Weerawardena & Mort, 2001), and empirical studies have focused on social entrepreneurs as change agents (Partzsch & Ziegler, 2011), entrepreneurial models (Mair et al., 2012), and ranking success factors (Sharir & Lerner, 2006). To shed light on the social entrepreneur’s behavior, as we do, adds an active and vivid element to the interplay between the social entrepreneur and the social organization. It does not merely confirm that the individual is important, but helps us develop a tentative model regarding how the leader is important. In doing so, we offer a greater. Second, although social entrepreneurship is a global phenomenon, African countries are underrepresented in the research (for exceptions see Ndemo, 2006; van Rensburg, Veldsman, & Jenkins, 2008; Nwankwo, Phillips, & Tracey, 2007). By drawing on data from entrepreneurs working in Nigeria, the present study contributes to building richer theory.Methodology We used an inductive study to gain greater understanding of the individual−organizational interplay in social venturing. Our sample included 37 individuals leading nonprofit NGOs in Nigeria. In addition, data was collected from 63 individuals surrounding these social entrepreneurs. A semi- structured interview was conducted and lasted from 5-80 minutes. Data analysis followed three steps. First We engaged in open coding. Second, the open coding was used for axial coding, meaning that conceptually similar codes were grouped into more abstract constructs. And finally, we identified dimensions underlying the constructs through axial coding (“organizational power, “community development,” and “personal performance”)Results and implications Findings suggest that social entrepreneurs play significant roles in the organizational power of the enterprise such as engaging in mobilizing resources; promoting in-house commitment within and between members of the organization and also promoting the attractiveness of the enterprise. In addition, promoting community development was another significant role played by social entrepreneurs to promote social impact. Specifically, building organizational power resulted in community development leading to the development of the communities through empowerment; raising awareness; and role modeling. Finally, the findings revealed that the social entrepreneurs perceived how they were performing in terms of both organizing (organizational power) and creating social value (community development). Specifically, the data indicated that their perceived personal performance, which impacted their future behavior and commitment for the social cause was represented by the three indicators: (1) organizational success, (2) affecting others’ lives, and (3) needs that remained unmet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Research subject
Entrepreneurship and Innovation
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-34458Local ID: 8aa5c401-717d-42ca-a542-8cf37dc621a5OAI: diva2:1007709
Nordic Conference on Small Business Research : 14/05/2014 - 16/05/2014
CiiR-Centre for Inter-Organizational Innovation Research
Godkänd; 2014; 20140521 (adeomo)Available from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30Bibliographically approved

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