Social innovation, goal orientation, and openness: insights from social enterprise hybrids

J. Hagedoorn*, H. Haugh, P. Robson, K. Sugar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

We empirically examine social innovation and openness through a survey of social enterprise hybrids in the United Kingdom (UK). Social innovation refers to new products, processes, and services that respond to grand challenges. Social enterprises pursue economic, social, and environmental goals but vary in their goal orientation, namely the relative importance ascribed to such goals. We first explore the relationships between commercial, social, and environmental goal orientation and social innovation performance. Next, we consider the moderating impact of openness to external knowledge and ideas on social innovation performance. Our analysis finds positive and significant relationships between commercial and social goal orientation and social innovation performance, but no relationship with environmental goal orientation. In addition, the use of external sources of knowledge and ideas positively strengthens these relationships for both commercial and social goal orientation but not for environmental goal orientation. Our results reveal some important influences on social innovation, openness, and hybrid organizing.Plain English Summary Headline: The more social enterprises focus on both commercial and social goals, the more successful they are in improving their social innovation performance.Social innovation refers to new products, processes, and services that respond to a range of social challenges such as poverty, inequality, homelessness, health, and environmental issues.Our study suggests that the more social enterprises focus on both commercial and social goals, the higher their social innovation performance. In addition, the more open innovation-oriented social enterprises are, that is, the more they use external sources of knowledge and ideas, the more they can benefit from their commercial and social goals to improve their social innovation performance.Implications of our research for practice: social enterprises are encouraged not only to focus on both commercial and social goals but also to build relationships with external stakeholders. These external stakeholders can provide information on entrepreneurial opportunities, how to respond to problems and market and government failures, and how to remain successful while collaborating with a range of partners.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalSmall Business Economics
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jul 2022

JEL classifications

  • l31 - "Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs"
  • l39 - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise: Other
  • d29 - Production and Organizations: Other
  • c12 - Hypothesis Testing: General
  • c33 - "Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models: Models with Panel Data; Longitudinal Data; Spatial Time Series"

Keywords

  • Social innovation performance
  • Openness
  • Social enterprise hybrids
  • Social enterprise goals
  • SERVICE INNOVATION
  • BUSINESS MODELS
  • ENVIRONMENTAL-MANAGEMENT
  • ABSORPTIVE-CAPACITY
  • VALUE CREATION
  • ENTREPRENEURSHIP
  • ORGANIZATIONS
  • KNOWLEDGE
  • FIRMS
  • GREEN

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