Towards a paradigm shift in social enterprise: taking the mystery out of social enterprise in voluntary and community sector local development agencies
AbstractThis thesis is a grounded theory study of Voluntary and Community Sector Local Development Agencies (LDAs) as they attempt to support groups who want to start a social enterprise. The research was informed by the work of an Action Research Group (ARG) which was undertaking action research into how to develop a regional infrastructure to support the development of social enterprise. This was distinct to the focus of this present research study - how to make social enterprise less mysterious for community development workers. Two interview programmes were conducted. The first was completed between January 2000 and February 2001. This interview programme was conducted with grant funded service delivery organisations. A total of 27 interviews were conducted in this programme. The second interview programme was completed between March of 2002 and September of 2003. This interview programme was conducted with Local Development Agencies (LDAs). A total of 7 organisations were interviewed in this interview programme. In addition, data was collected from meetings of the Action Research Group (ARG). There were 10 members of the ARG. A full list of participating organisations can be found in Appendix I. Data for this study was collected in the following ways: from interviews with grantfunded service delivery organisations; interviews with LDAs; notes of meetings of the ARG; materials produced by, the ARG. In addition, there was a heavy emphasis upon analysis and theoretical memorandum writing by myself throughout the research project. The theory of social enterprise - represented by a conceptual framework - was developed to guide community development workers in LDAs in adapting their practice from supporting grant funded service providers to advice for service providers who want to develop their organisation as a social enterprise. Four preliminary concepts emerged from analysis of data collected for the study. Through further analysis the core categories, properties and dimensions of the framework emerge from the data. This is then critically reviewed in terms of advantages and limitations - by the Action Research Group. The research has implications for practitioners of social enterprise support and implementation of policy around the reform of public services and the future of the voluntary and community sector, particularly LDAs.
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
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