Social Entrepreneurship and Institutional Sustainability: Insights from an Embedded Social Enterprise

Abstract

Mainstream enterprises function by alleviating the cognitive burdens on their members and hence generating an insensitivity to all those complex environmental factors, in which they critically depend. By focusing on the political, institutional dynamics, the present article dwells on the questions of: How can social enterprises regain the embeddedness to the political, institutional environment and how can this process quest the dominant, institutional closure? To address these questions, the article introduces a synergy between new institutionalism and systems theory, both macro-sociological approaches that can compensate for each other’s deficiencies. In this context, the hybrid concept of institutional entrepreneurship describes the institutionalization of new organizational forms via the embeddedness of the institutional logics that underpin them. An in-depth qualitative research of the OTELO social enterprise and of its institutional framework of Mühlviertel was conducted. Empirical evidence shows that social entrepreneurship can regain the institutionally sustainability by becoming embedded to the fields of legitimacy, politics and discourse, and through this process dispute the broader institutional closeness.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    For more see theoretical outline.

  2. 2.

    For more see https://www.leader.at/ueberblick.html.

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Acknowledgements

This research has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska Curie Grant Agreement Number 721999.

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Correspondence to Georgios Chatzichristos.

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Chatzichristos, G., Nagopoulos, N. Social Entrepreneurship and Institutional Sustainability: Insights from an Embedded Social Enterprise. Voluntas 31, 484–493 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-019-00188-3

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Keywords

  • Institutional entrepreneurship
  • Institutional sustainability
  • OTELO
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Systems theory