Leading the Way in Social Responsibility & Sustainability | Weatherhead

Leading the Way in Social Responsibility & Sustainability

Leaders & Researchers Examining Social Entrepreneurship & Social Enterprise

A Symposium sponsored by
The Executive Doctor of Management (EDM) Program,
Center for Business as an Agent for World Benefit (BAWB),
Weatherhead School of Management and
The Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations,
Case Western Reserve University

Session 1 | Session 2 | Session 3 | Session 4 | Register

Participants in this invitation-only symposium will discuss some of the latest research-based thinking about social entrepreneurship and social enterprise. The focus will be:

  1. Leaders learning from researchers. Based on a critical examination, what research-based knowledge carries direct applicability to leadership practice in the sector, and what research is irrelevant?
  2. Researchers learning from leaders. What current issues and innovative practices in social entrepreneurship and social enterprise should guide future research into nonprofit effectiveness?

At each of the symposium's sessions, theory and findings will be presented from recent doctoral research at Case, then critically analyzed by nonprofit leaders acting as discussants, and followed by general discussion among all participants.


8:00 Coffee and Continental Breakfast
8:30 Welcome and Opening Remarks – Dr. Susan Lajoie Eagan and Dr. Paul Salipante

Plenary – Raymond Dart, Trent University, Peterborough, Canada
Social Enterprise - Rhetorical, Mythical, Cultural and Political

9:30 Session I: Social Entrepreneurship and Nonprofit Organizations: Mission, Revenue Generation, and Scaling Up
11:15 Session II: Private Sector Initiatives for Environmental and Social Sustainability: Incentives and Practices
12:45 Lunch – Topic Tables
  • Discussion on a new form of business entity called an L3C
  • Discussion about cross-section partnerships for sustainability with the world's largest corporation
1:45 Session III: Pursuing Sustainable Social Enterprise: Barriers & Success Factors
3:30 Session IV: Setting the Action Agenda: Research, Instruction, Practice
4:30 Adjourn

Plenary Session

Raymond Dart, Trent University, Peterborough, Canada
The Legitimacy of Social Enterprise

Session I

Chair/Moderator: Mark Light, PhD, President and Founder of First Light Group, LLC, faculty member, Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Case Western Reserve University
Social Entrepreneurship and Nonprofit Organizations: Mission, Revenue Generation, and Scaling Up

Paper 1: Scott Helm, PhD, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Beyond Taxonomy: An Empirical Validation of Social Entrepreneurship in the Nonprofit Sector

Much of the considerable confusion about the definition of social entrepreneurship in academic literature stems from a lack of empirical research on the subject. This paper advances social entrepreneurship research beyond conceptualization discussions by developing and validating an instrument that quantifies the incidence of nonprofit entrepreneurial behavior. Information from 145 Kansas City Metropolitan Area nonprofit organizations was collected to validate the underlying constructs represented in the instrument. Behavior differences were depicted between entrepreneurial and nonentrepreneurial nonprofits. Using principal component factor analysis, the research illustrates social entrepreneurship as a unique nonprofit behavior that occurs at the intersection of innovation, proactiveness, and risk taking.

Discussants: Mark Light, PhD, President and Founder of First Light Group, LLC, faculty member, Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Case Western Reserve University

Paper 2: David Sherman, EDM Class of 2007, Partner, Blu Skye Sustainability Consulting, San Francisco, CA

This paper presents findings from an investigation of pattern-changing social entrepreneurs. We examined the efforts of fifteen entrepreneurs and sought to understand the factors that enable successful ones to scale their social impact. All the entrepreneurs were operating in capital constrained environments and scaling required overcoming funding constraints. The findings indicate that pattern-changing social entrepreneurs are more concerned with scaling their impact than with growing their enterprises. Hence, many were pursuing both direct scaling where they grew their own enterprises and indirect scaling where they pursued impact through influencing other organizations. Social entrepreneurship is not a linear process; rather it is one of discovery, evolution, growth, learning and reinforcement. Most of the entrepreneurs began with a unique and innovative idea and then “discovered” through trial and error how to build a successful enterprise. The findings indicate many similarities between social entrepreneurship and profit seeking entrepreneurship as characterized in the empirical literature. Key differences include implications of the social mission and resource acquisition for non-profit entrepreneurs. Successful entrepreneurs were able to build and access social and business networks in order to garner financial, human, and other resources. They then developed viable self-reinforcing resourcing and capability building approaches built on principles of value exchange with partners, funders, and customers. They delivered exceptional value to partners and key stakeholders providing satisfaction and building credibility and strong reputations. The most successful social entrepreneurs discovered innovative ways to improve the profitability and mission-focus of key activities and once they had refined their model, they focused their energies to exploit the opportunity and scale their impact. A critical success factor for scale was moving from individual-level skills to the building of core organizational-level competencies.

Discussants: James L. Bildner, Trustee, Case Western Reserve University Board of Directors

Bo Carlsson, PhD, Frank Tracy Carlton Professor of Economics, Director of the Executive Doctor of Management Program, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University

Session II

Chair/Moderator:David C. Hammack, PhD, Hiram C. Haydn Professor of History, Department of History, Case Western Reserve University
Private Sector Initiatives for Environmental and Social Sustainability: Incentives and Practices

Paper 1. Joseph Akinkugbe Adelegan, EDM Class of 2010
Environmentally Benign Technologies and Financial Performance: Evidence from the Pulp and Paper Industry in Nigeria

Addressing a paucity of research about industrial adoption of environmentally benign technologies in Africa and, more generally, in tropical developing countries, we examined the Nigerian pulp and paper industry as a case study. Qualitative interviews with twenty upper echelon executives representing five Nigerian firms challenge conventional expectations that energy intensive industries in developing markets operate amid highly pollution-intensive conditions, within weak or non-existent formal environmental regulatory frameworks, and with limited institutional capacity. Our findings suggest a strong positive relationship between cleaner technology use and corporate financial performance of African industrial firms. Our study also suggests the adoption of classical ‘win-win’ integrated preventive environmental strategy, eco-efficiency and green productivity which improves industrial efficiency and profitability. Nigerian pulp and paper firms are shown to have moved beyond end-of-pipe technologies and cleaner technologies and adopted industrial ecology and “zero emission” principles with appropriate reuse of the remaining waste streams turning the production system into a sustainable industrial ecosystem.

Discussants: David Beach, GreenCityBlueLake, Cleveland, OH

Paper 2. Ronald Fry, PhD, Associate Professor, Organizational Behavior Department Chair, Organizational Behavior, Weatherhead School of Management

Garima Sharma, PhD Candidate, Weatherhead School of Management

The World Inquiry: Analyses of impact of innovations to create mutual benefit for business and society

We will describe the World Inquiry project within the Center for Business as Agent for World Benefit (BAWB), focusing in particular on our current analyses of how these innovations for mutual benefit impact on both the businesses and society - how do businesses create win-win circumstances where they do well by shareholders and their wider stakeholders?

Discussant: Jonathan H. coleman, EDM, Global Representation Planner, Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, Michigan

Session III

Chair/Moderator: Jean E. Kilgore, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Marketing and Policy Studies, Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations and Weatherhead School of Management

Pursuing Sustainable Social Enterprise: Barriers & Success Factors

Paper 1. William J. Oliver, EDM Class of 2010
Factors Influencing Collaboration Of Western Business Practitioners And NGOs Who Assist Small To Medium Sized Enterprises In Developing Countries: A Qualitative Analysis

We examined how Western Business Practitioners (WBPs) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) interact to assist Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries. Interviews with North American WBPs, and NGOs in ten developing countries provided the data for the study. Findings suggest that partnership form (on a continuum from transactional to collaborative) has a direct and positive relationship with the extent of complementarity achieved by the actors. Complementarity, recommended as best ensured by management intervention, overcomes partners’ geographical, cultural and socio/political differences, reduces power differentials, mitigates distrust and promotes communication. Three elements of complementarity – learning, communication and process – are discussed.

Sayan Chatterjee, PhD, Department Chair, Marketing and Policy Studies, Professor, Management Policy, Weatherhead School of Management

Can sustainability be a competitive advantage?

Sustainability implies taking a longer view than the immediate bottom-line impact. I try to make the case that this longer view will ultimately impact the bottom line by considering the profits not quarter by quarter but over decades.

Session IV

Setting the Action Agenda: Research, Instruction, Practice

Featured guests of the symposium will provide short summative comments on the previous three symposium sessions from both an academic and practice perspective. All participants will be asked to engage in an interactive general discussion to address the question, "Where do we go from here?"

Thursday, March 26, 2009 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Mandel Center Building, Room 115
11402 Bellflower Road
Cleveland, OH 44106-7166
United States
Registration for this event has closed


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