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Understanding Social Enterprise

Understanding Social Enterprise
Theory and Practice

Second Edition
Additional resources:

October 2015 | 440 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

The emergence of social enterprises over the past 35 years has been an exciting and significant development in the economy at a local, national and international level. How should we understand the growing popularity of social enterprise and the wider social economy? Are alternative business models even more relevant in an uncertain business climate? Do they provide a robust response to periods of state 'austerity'? How do social enterprises contribute to global initiatives to improve the sustainability and responsibility of the business community?

Through discussion of theoretical and practical considerations for the field, and a wealth of learning features, this 2nd edition of Understanding Social Enterprise:

  • Focuses on the distinct pathways that social enterprises follow, critiquing the competencies and practices that contribute to a successful social economy
  • Contains updated coverage on sector issues, including the recent development of the social investment industry
  • Explores how private, voluntary and public sector agencies engage the social economy, and how distinctive new forms have emerged from it
  • Examines the management of social enterprises in different contexts within the social economy
  • Contains updated coverage of international issues informed by global studies of the social economies.

Revisions include a new, tripartite structure and two new chapters on 'Marketing and Measuring Social Value' and 'Social Investment and Crowd Funding'.

Visit the companion website for sample curricula, instructors’ manual, PowerPoint slides and extra case studies for lecturers, and access to full-text journal articles for students.

Part 1 – Theoretical Perspectives on Social Enterprise
Chapter 1 – The Social Economy and Big Society
Chapter 2 – Defining Social Enterprise
Chapter 3 – The Politics of Social Enterprise
Part 2 – Sustainable Enterprises and Communities
Chapter 4 – Measuring Social Value
Chapter 5 – Income Streams and Capital Management
Chapter 6 – Social Investment and Crowdfunding
Chapter 7 – Social and Ethical Capital
Part 3 – The Practice of Social Enterprise
Chapter 8 – Strategic Management and Planning
Chapter 9 – Management Ideologies
Chapter 10 – Leadership, Social and Eco-Entrepreneurship
Chapter 11 – Identities and Legalities
Chapter 12 – Governance and Human Relations

The first edition of this book has become a standard resource. I am thrilled to see that the second edition makes a strong connection to the theme of responsible management, about which there is much to say in the social enterprise context. 

Oliver Laasch
Founder of the Center for Responsible Management Education (CRME)

A comprehensive overview of social enterprise – from its history and development to integrated accounting, investment models and governance. You will come out on the other side ready to lead change and question the norms of traditional market approaches.

Jonas Haertle
Head, Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) Secretariat, United Nations Global Compact Office, New York

An important contribution to social enterprise scholarship that is also of considerable interest to practitioners and policy makers. Its integration of management frameworks, social theory and public policy approaches provides a fresh set of perspectives and insights on this increasingly influential sector.

Alex Nicholls, Professor of Social Entrepreneurship, Said Business School
University of Oxford

Understanding Social Enterprise presents complex and unified analysis of the topic which will allow both academic and nonacademic readers to reflect deeply on social enterprise as legitimately comprising a fourth sector as opposed to a subsector or a hybrid between the public and the private sectors.

This book is a must read for scholars, practitioners, and students of social enterprise and/or social entrepreneurship to understand the theoretical, managerial, and practical complexities these firms embrace to achieve success. Innovation purpose and mutuality/reciprocity are collaborative dimensions which can transform the maturing field of social enterprise.?????????

Patsy Kraeger
ISTR & John Hopkins University

Excellent overview of theory and practice for social entrepreneurs

Dr Morven McEachern
Salford Business School, Salford University
November 11, 2016

This book covers all the important topics that students need to know about Social Enterprise. In addition, it uses a plain-academic language that helps students to get slowly introduced into academia work.

Dr Carla Quesada Pallares
Management Division, Leeds University
April 4, 2016

Theory is relevant to course at level 6. In-depth but also suited to Level 5 students . Like the approach to activities and extra reading material.

Mrs Irena Grazia Massarella
HE Business, Hospitlaity and Tourism, Westminster Kingsway College
March 9, 2016

It is a wonderful book which summarizes recent pieces of knowledge in a very construictive and innovative way.

Professor Dieter Bogenhold
Sociology , University of Klagenfurt
March 4, 2016

Rory Ridley-Duff

Dr Rory Ridley-Duff worked for 12 years as a director of the workers co-operative Computercraft Ltd, and has built his academic career through a PhD study of School Trends Ltd during its conversion to a social enterprise. His primary research interest is the process by which democratic relations develop in both informal and formal organisations and affect governing processes. He has now authored 35 scholarly papers, four books and two novels. In addition to this book, he has published ‘The Case for FairShares’ to articulate findings from a decade of action research at Sheffield Business School, that explores social enterprise as a route to... More About Author

Mike Bull

Dr Mike Bull is a Senior Lecturer and Research Fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, recently completing his PhD by publication, entitled ‘The Development of Social Enterprise in the UK: Some Operational and Theoretical Contributions to Knowledge’. Mike has a decade of experience and knowledge of social enterprise, having led several UK and European funded research projects. He also developed one of the first undergraduate modules on social enterprise in 2005. Mike has held two Directorships in social enterprises during the past decade, as well as gaining industrial expertise, having previously worked for 16 years... More About Author

Also available as a South Asia Edition.

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ISBN: 9781446295533