The role of legitimacy in social enterprise-corporate collaboration

The role of legitimacy in social enterprise-corporate collaboration
Document type
Paper
Author(s)
Huybrechts, Benjamin; Nicholls, Alex
Publisher
Emerald
Date of publication
1 August 2013
Series
Social enterprise journal. Vol 9; Number 2
Subject(s)
Small business & enterprise: the practicalities of running a small business and the theory of entrepreneurship, Management & leadership: including strategy, public sector management, operations and production
Collection
Business and management
Material type
Reports

This item is only available to registered users

Register now or Log in

Your use of this content is subject to the terms and conditions of this portal

Purpose - This article aims to explore the role of organisational legitimacy in understanding the emergence and development of “cross-sector collaboration” between social enterprises and corporations. Design/methodology/approach - An in-depth case study of a long-standing but fragile partnership between a UK-based Fair Trade social enterprise and a large corporate retailer provides exploratory findings on the role of legitimacy at different stages of the collaboration process. Findings - The findings highlight how pragmatic and moral legitimacy are mobilised by the social enterprise to justify collaboration throughout three major stages: the very decision of cross-sector collaboration; the choice of the partner and the framing of the partnership; and the evolution of the collaboration. Research limitations/implications - While Fair Trade is not the only sector in which social enterprise-corporate partnerships take place, it has been a pioneering domain revealing the potential as well as the challenges of such partnerships. Taking into account the role of legitimacy throughout the collaborative process is crucial both for comprehensive research and for informed practice. Originality/value - Although it is documented by a single case study, this paper opens new research avenues to examine social enterprise-corporate collaborations by developing a “non-functionalist” view of such collaborations and showing the importance of legitimacy in understanding why and how they emerge, develop and sometimes fail.

Related to Small business & enterprise: the practicalities of running a small business and the theory of entrepreneurship

Motivations to scale: how European entrepreneurs think about growth and finance

Downloadable report aiming to explain why few startups scale

BEIS small and medium enterprises sme action plan

Downloadable report on the SME Action Plan

Business support evaluation framework

Downloadable report on the BEIS Business Support Evaluation framework

Law Commission report on consumer prepayments on retailer insolvency: government response

Downloadable report on consumer prepayments on retailer insolvency

More items related to this subject

Related to Emerald

Specialized entrepreneurship education: does it really matter? Fresh evidence from Pakistan

Downloadable article on the effectiveness of entrepreneurship education

Willingness to pay for innovations:

This article is about consumer value and the related consumer willingness to pay (WTP) for innovations.The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of national culture and globalization

Transformational leadership in leading young innovators: a subordinate's perspective

This paper is about leadership styles. In particular, it investigates what kind of leadership young innovators favour.Leadership preferences are studied in the context of transformational leadership

Business model configurations: a five-V framework to map out potential innovation routes

This article is about business model (BM) innovation. It starts from the premise that managers - according to the authors - still lack appropriate frameworks and tools to support them in updating their

More items related to this publisher