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An Investigation Into Social Impact Practice in Social Enterprises

Kah, S (2018) An Investigation Into Social Impact Practice in Social Enterprises. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Abstract

This study aims to investigate social impact practice in social enterprises in the UK. It explores the drivers and implementation of social impact, how social impact is assessed, the barriers to social impact assessment. This study adopts a qualitative case study approach. Specifically, multiple case studies of social enterprises. The approach to data collection was semi-structured interviews and document analysis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with individuals with expert knowledge of social impact. This study found that internal mechanisms and external institutions drive social impact. The organisations reviewed their culture and structure to understand the norms and identify capabilities. Stakeholder engagement was paramount to social impact captured. Social impact is captured for accountability, social investment readiness, and to build trust with stakeholders. However, they face barriers such as resource constraints and capturing indirect social impact. The study uncovered that the council for voluntary service legal structure impedes access to social investment. This study contributes to normative isomorphism and the micro-context of institutional theory by presenting an in-depth understanding of internal mechanisms agenda for social impact. It also contributes to the intra-organisational development of social enterprises through the review of organisational culture and structure. This investigation provides an in-depth understanding of the rationale and process to social impact assessment. It provides six stages to social impact assessment based on social enterprises operating in the financial support and service sector. Also, it presents practical implications for senior management, board of directors, funders, and policy-makers due to their influence on social impact. Providing the extensive experiences of the boards in the social sector, they should capitalise on their networks by encouraging cross-sector collaborations. Funders need to take into consideration the organisational size and needs of the region in the funding criteria. Policy-makers could remove barriers on the council for voluntary service and community interest company legal structures to encourage cross-sectoral engagement.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social enterprise; Social impact; North West; UK
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: Liverpool Business School
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2018 13:27
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2018 13:29
DOI or Identification number: 10.24377/researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk.00009290
Supervisors: O'Brien, S, Kok, S and Gallagher, E
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9290

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