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Title: A strategic perspective of social enterprise sustainability
Authors: Sabella, Anton Robert
Eid, Niveen Labib
Keywords: Social entrepreneurship;Social responsibility of business;Sustainable development - Social aspects;Social capital (Sociology)
Issue Date: 2016
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to explore the phenomenon of sustainability from a strategic perspective by looking at two case studies that managed to thrive and grow. Drawing on 11 in-depth interviews, the paper explores how the phenomenon plays out and how strategic practices are carried out in their local exchange contexts, rising above mundane challenges, and ending up improving the economic and social capacities of their communities. The paper contends that social enterprise sustainability is grounded in understanding the impact of contextual, organisational and individual spheres that correspond to three strategic ex-ante enablers: stakeholder orientation, relationship-oriented organisation, and entrepreneurial behaviour; all of which have had valuable contributions towards the upkeep of the enterprise. The study demonstrates that sustainability of social enterprises in a constrained environment is a function of a continuous entrepreneurial activity and the effective use of social and business models. Beyond its direct contribution to the literature on social enterprise in developing countries, the paper offers a practical framework that underlines the dynamism of a sustainable social enterprise while emphasising key managerial and marketing concepts. It concludes with a number of recommendations for policy and practice as to how to enhance the contribution of management and marketing concepts to sustainable social enterprises.
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