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Coopted! Mission Drift in a Social Venture Engaged in a Cross-Sectoral Partnership

  • Ester Barinaga
Original Paper
  • 70 Downloads

Abstract

Social entrepreneurship research highlights the collaborative nature of social entrepreneurial efforts. Further, acknowledging the embeddedness of social ventures in the wider socio-economic and cultural context, the literature stresses the need to move our analysis from the micro-level of intra-organisational practices to the meso-level of inter-organisational dynamics. To answer to these calls, the article engages Fligstein’s and McAdam’s theory of strategic action fields (SAF) to investigate the dynamics of the inter-organisational collaborative work of social ventures. Empirical material comes from the efforts of a social venture to scale up to a new city through developing a cross-sectoral collaboration with the city administration. Findings indicate the risk of mission drift that weaker partners in SAFs run when collaborating with incumbent actors. In this doing, the study illustrates how a meso-level analysis can further our understanding of social entrepreneurial ventures in particular, and cross-sectoral partnerships in general.

Keywords

Social venture Cross-sectoral partnership Strategic action field Institutional order Collaboration 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author founded and still chairs the social venture that is the case of study. It is however part of the interventionist methodologies that are increasingly advocated within (social) entrepreneurship studies. This is reflected upon in the methodology section.

Supplementary material

11266_2018_19_MOESM1_ESM.docx (8 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 9 kb)

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Copyright information

© International Society for Third-Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management, Politics and PhilosophyCopenhagen Business SchoolFrederiksbergDenmark

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