Remember Me
Or use your Academic/Social account:


Or use your Academic/Social account:


You have just completed your registration at OpenAire.

Before you can login to the site, you will need to activate your account. An e-mail will be sent to you with the proper instructions.


Please note that this site is currently undergoing Beta testing.
Any new content you create is not guaranteed to be present to the final version of the site upon release.

Thank you for your patience,
OpenAire Dev Team.

Close This Message


Verify Password:
Verify E-mail:
*All Fields Are Required.
Please Verify You Are Human:
fbtwitterlinkedinvimeoflicker grey 14rssslideshare1
Ridley-Duff, Rory; Southcombe, Cliff (2011)
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd
Languages: English
Types: Unknown

Objectives - There has been limited discussion of the conceptual dimensions of the Social Enterprise Mark (SEM), or the implications of its growing legitimacy. This paper makes a contribution to knowledge by critically discussing the conceptual dimensions of the SEM and providing some empirical data on its likely effects.

\ud \ud

Prior Work - Recent attempts by the academic community to define the social enterprise sector have run into linguistic and practical problems. Any definition tends to privilege one group of social enterprises over another with the result that co operative and employee-owned enterprises, or enterprises pioneering public service reform, are marginalised in policy discourse. The arrival of the SEM in the United Kingdom takes place amidst these conceptual and practical difficulties.

\ud \ud

Approach – The paper is an exploratory study based on feedback from participants on open access co operative and social enterprise courses. They were asked to study published SEM criteria then evaluate three forms of social enterprise activity (a worker co operative, a trading charity and a self-employed consultant). Participants were asked to rank these in order of likelihood of obtaining the SEM.

\ud \ud

Results - Course participants from different sectoral backgrounds drew the same conclusions. Criteria were perceived to favour CICs and trading charities with social and environmental objects, but not enterprises that deliver social benefits through transforming labour relations and wealth sharing arrangements. Participants on the first course were bemused (and in some cases angered) when they found that award winning social enterprises would not meet, or have been denied, the SEM.

\ud \ud

Implications - The SEM's evaluation criteria currently favour 'social purpose' enterprises that explicitly target a beneficiary group or community, and not 'socialised' enterprises that transform labour relations, promote participative democracy, or design new wealth sharing \ud arrangements.

\ud \ud

Value - The paper suggests there has been a shift away from the values advanced by the founders of the UK social enterprise movement in the mid-1990s towards values embedded in The Social Enterprise Mark. The paper proposes a critical research strategy to investigate the origins and potential effects of applying the SEM’s criteria.

  • The results below are discovered through our pilot algorithms. Let us know how we are doing!

    • Alter, K. (2007) Social Enterprise Typology, Virtue Ventures, accessed on 8th July http://rinovations.edublogs.org/files/2008/07/setypology.pdf.
    • Alvesson, M. and Deetz, S. (2000) Doing Critical Management Research, London: Sage Publications.
    • BBC (1980) The Mondragon Experiment, London: BBC Active.
    • Borzaga, C. and Defourny, J. (2001) The Emergence of Social Enterprise, London: Routledge.
    • Carver, J. (1990). Boards That Make a Difference, San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
    • Chell, E. (2007) “Social enterprise and entrepreneurship: towards a convergent theory of the entrepreneurial process”, International Small Business Journal, 25 (1): 5-26.
    • Curtis, T. (2008) “Finding that grit makes a pearl: a critical re-reading of research into social enterprise”, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 14(5): 276-290.
    • Dart, R., Clow, E. and Armstrong, A., (2010) "Meaningful difficulties in the mapping of social enterprises", Social Enterprise Journal, 6(3): 186 - 193.
    • Davies, W. (2009) Reinventing the Firm, London: Demos.
    • Dees, G. (1998) “Enterprising non-profits: what do you do when traditional sources of funding fall short?”, Harvard Business Review, January-February, pp. 54-67.
    • Defourny, J. (2001) “From Third Sector to Social Enterprise”, in Borzaga, C. and Defourny, J. (eds), The Emergence of Social Enterprise, London: Routledge, pp. 16-18.
    • Domenico, M., Tracey, P. and Haugh, H. (2009) “The dialectic of social exchange: theorizing corporate-social enterprise collaboration”, Organization Studies, 30(8): 887-907.
    • DTI (2003) Enterprise for Communities: Report on the Public Consultation and the Government‟s Intentions, London: HM Treasury.
    • Davies, W. (2009) Reinventing the Firm, London: Demos.
    • Ellerman, D. (1984) “Entrepreneurship in the Mondragon Cooperatives”, Review of Social Economy, 42(3): 272-294.
    • Ellerman, D. (1990) The Democratic Worker-Owned Firm: A New Model for East and West, Boston: Unwin Hyman.
    • Erdal, D. (2011) Beyond the Corporation: Humanity Working: London: The Bodley Head
    • Finlay, L. (2010) The Social Enterprise Mark, presentation to Social Enterprise Yorkshire and Humber at Doncaster Trades Centre, 27th May 2010.
    • Finlay, L. (2011) The Social Enterprise Mark Research Agenda: A Response, presentation to the International Social Innovation Research Conference, London Southbank University, September 11st/12th.
    • Galera, G. and Borzaga, C. (2009) “Social enterprise: an international overview of its conceptual evolution and legal implementation”, Social Enterprise Journal, 5(3): 210-228.
    • Gates, J. (1998) The Ownership Solution, London: Penguin.
    • Glaser, B, and Strauss, A. (1967) The Discovery of Grounded Theory, New York: Adine.
    • Grey, C and Mitev, N. (1995) “Management Education: A Polemic”, Management Learning, 26(1): 73-90.
    • Habermas, J. (1984) The Theory of Communicative Action Volume 1; Reason and the Rationalization of Society, Cambridge: Polity Press.
    • Harding, R. and Cowling, M. (2004) Social Entrepreneurship Monitor United Kingdom 2004, London Business School, www.theworkfoundation.com/publications/index.jsp, accessed 26 March 2004.
    • Hood, C. (1995) “The new public management in the 1980s: variations on a theme”, Accounting, Organisation and Society, 20(2/3): 93-109.
    • Hudson, M. (2002) Managing Without Profit (2nd Edition), London: Penguin.
    • ICA (1995) Statement of Co-operative Identity, accessed on 8th July 2011 at http://www.ica.coop/coop/principles.html
    • ICA (2005) World Declaration on Worker Co-operatives, Approved by the ICA General Assembly in Cartagena, Columbia, 23 September.
    • Johnson, P. (2006) “Whence democracy? A review and critique of the conceptual dimensions and implications of the business case for organizational democracy”, Organization, 13(2): 245-274.
    • Kerlin, J. (2006) “Social enterprise in the United States and Europe: understanding and learning from the differences”, Voluntas, 17(3): 246-62.
    • Kerlin, J. (ed) (2010) Social enterprise: a global comparison, Medford: Tuffs University Press.
    • Kincheloe, J. and McClaren, P. (1994) “Rethinking critical theory and qualitative research”, in N. Denzin and Y. Lincoln (eds), Handbook of Qualitative Research, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, pp. 138-157.
    • Leadbeater, C. (1997) The Rise of the Social Entrepreneur, London: Demos.
    • London, M. and Morfopoulos, R. G. (2010) Social Entrepreneurship, New York: Routelege.
    • Lyon, F and Sepulveda, Leandro (2009) "Mapping social enterprises: past approaches, challenges and future directions", Social Enterprise Journal, 5(1): 83 - 94.
    • Martin, R. L. and Osberg, S. (2007) “Social entrepreneurship: the case for definition”, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Spring 2007, pp. 29-39.
    • Monzon, J. L. and Chaves, R. (2008) “The European social economy: concepts and dimensions of the third sector”, Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, 79(3/4): 549-577.
    • Oakeshott, R. (1990) The Case for Worker Co-ops (2nd Edition), Basingstoke: Macmillan.
    • Office of National Statistics (2006) Social Trends 2006, London: Office of National Statistics.
    • Parker, M. (2002) Against Management: Organization in the Age of Managerialism, Polity Press.
    • Pearce J. (2003), Social Enterprise in Anytown, London: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
    • Pearce, J. and Kay, A. (2008) Really Telling Accounts! Report on a Social Accounting and Audit Research Project, Wolverhampton: Social Audit Network.
    • Retaskis, J. (2011) Humanizing the Economy: Co-operatives in the Age of Capitalism, Gabriola Island: New Society Publishers.
    • Ridley-Duff, R. J. and Bull, M. (2011) Understanding Social Enterprise, London: Sage Publications.
    • Ridley-Duff, R. J. (2002) Silent Revolution: Creating and Managing Social Enterprises: Barnsley: First Contact Software Ltd.
    • Ridley-Duff, R. J. (2007) “Communitarian perspectives on social enterprise”, Corporate Governance: An International Review, 15(2): 382-392.
    • Ridley-Duff, R. J. (2010) “Communitarian governance in social enterprises: case evidence from the Mondragon Co-operative Corporation and School Trends Ltd”, Social Enterprise Journal, 6(2): 125-145.
    • RISE (2009) Social Enterprise Mark - Qualification Criteria: Issue 3, January 2009, Exeter: RISE.
    • Scofield, R. (2011) The Social Entrepreneur‟s Handbook, New York: McGraw Hill.
    • SEL (1998) Memorandum and Articles of Association of Social Enterprise London, London: SEL, accessed via Companies House.
    • Social Enterprise Europe (2011) What is social enterprise?, http://www.socialenterpriseeurope.co.uk/pages/what-is-social-enterprise.php, accessed 16th April 2011, [Social Enterprise Europe is a successor organisation of the Social Enterprise Partnership].
    • Social Enterprise Mark Company (2011) Directory, http://www.socialenterprisemark.org.uk/dir/list-all, accessed 6th October 2011.
    • Southcombe, C. (2009) A Short History of the Social Enterprise Movement, Robin Hoods Bay: Social Enterprise Europe.
    • Spear, R., Cornforth, C. and Aiken, M. (2007) For Love and Money: Governance and Social Enterprise, London: National Council for Voluntary Organisations.
    • Spreckley, F. (1981) Social Audit - A Management Tool for Co-operative Working, Leeds: Beechwood College.
    • Spreckley, F. (2008) Social Audit Toolkit (4th Edition), Herefordshire: Local Livelihoods, http://www.uk.locallivelihoods.com/Moduls/WebSite/Page/Default.aspx?Pag_Id=1 09, accessed 10th August 2010.
    • Teasdale, S. (2011) “What‟s in a name? Making sense of social enterprise discourses”, Public Policy and Administration, forthcoming (earlycite at doi:10.1177/0952076711401466).
    • Turnbull, S. (1994), “Stakeholder democracy: redesigning the governance of firms and bureaucracies”, Journal of Socio-Economics, 23(3): 321-360.
    • Turnbull, S. (1995) “Innovations in corporate governance: The Mondragon Experience”, Corporate Governance: An International Review, 3(3): 167-180.
    • Turnbull, S. (2002) A New Way to Govern: Organisations and Society after Enron, London: New Economics Foundation.
    • Westall, A. (2001) Value-led, Market-driven: Social Enterprise Solutions to Public Policy Goals, London: IPPR.
  • No related research data.
  • No similar publications.

Share - Bookmark

Cite this article