ARTICLE LINK – Social or Commercial? Innovation Strategies in Social Enterprises at Times of Turbulence

Journal: Business Ethics Quarterly

Authors: Tommaso Ramus Barbara La CaraAntonino Vaccaro and Stefano Brusoni

Publication Date/Info: Volume 28, Issue 4


In this study, we investigate how different internal and external stakeholders influence the innovation strategy of a social enterprise to adopt product, process, and partnership innovations that impact either social or commercial performance. Relying on survey data from a sample of work integration social enterprises, we find that in situations of turbulence, administrative leaders do not significantly influence the innovation strategy of a social enterprise. Instead, board members and external stakeholders seem to play a role. Our study contributes to strategic and business ethics research on social enterprises and, more broadly, to the literature that explores how business organizations combine social value creation and wealth generation.



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