Social Entrepreneurship in 2011: A framework for classifying ventures based on social efforts and social effects
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In this thesis we take the first steps towards developing a framework for evaluating the social efforts and effects of ventures, and investigate factors that may influence dynamics such a framework. Our work is divided into two papers.In the first paper (Thesis Paper A) we develop a conceptual framework for evaluating the social effort and social effect of ventures. The framework is theoretically based on literature reviews and in-depth, qualitative case studies. The purpose is to build a platform for qualitative analysis of ventures that lets us compare their social performance with their social intentions. The resulting framework is a two-by-two matrix, describing four classes of ventures. Factors influencing a venture s movement from one class in the framework to another are examined. We find that changing the social effort of a venture does not immediately change its social effects. Finally, we suggest that understanding the dynamics of this framework is useful for both researchers, and managers wishing to reposition themselves.In the second paper (Thesis Paper B) we take the framework one step further by replacing the two-by-two matrix with two continuous dimensions. We then develop a quantitative method for evaluating ventures in the framework. In order to do so, we find a set of indicators to measure a venture s social efforts and social effects. We apply this method to 19 ventures by conducting a survey. Our findings indicate a linear correlation between the social efforts and effects of the respondents, and that both ventures traditionally considered to be social and ventures considered to be non-social follow the same linearity. Surprisingly, we also find that none of our respondents score negatively on the social effects dimension. This leads us to question the sustainability of a venture with negative social effects as an important point for future research.Through both papers we see that an evaluation of the two dimensions social efforts and social effects provides a more accurate classification of ventures than a simple division of ventures into social ventures and non-social ventures . Social Entrepreneurship in 2011 , the title of this thesis, is an increasingly important theme. It is important for both researchers and actors in this field to understand that any venture can have social properties. Questions of whether or not ventures are social may become superfluous. Instead, the focus should be on what effects ventures have on society and how they are performing compared to their social efforts. As society comes to expect more from all ventures, we believe that ventures, regardless of type, context, size, or industry, should be measured on the same dimensions.Our findings open for many interesting research possibilities, some of which are discussed in the papers. The applications of our work for venture managers are also discussed, and have to some degree been demonstrated already. In the second paper, we conducted a survey where we offered our respondents a report with their results. Several of the respondents said that the reports illustrated reality as they perceived it, and some found potential for improvement in areas they had not considered to be under their control. A sample report can be found after Thesis Paper B.