Academic Research

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[1] Advancing our Understanding of Social Enterprise in Europe

Values, Management Practices and Organizational Performance:
Evidence from Social Enterprises

Values are guides to action; they are enduring beliefs more basic than heuristics but can be seen as building blocks for heuristics. Values can be thought of as constituents of a person’s character traits, and are typically stable within individuals, though variation across individuals is common (e.g. Zak, 2008). Our own preliminary findings on the values of social entrepreneurs suggest that their value profile is distinct from that of a comparison group of commercial entrepreneurs. However, no one, to the best of our knowledge, has so far empirically demonstrated the role of values in social enterprise organization and performance... Click here to read the project abstract in

Dissent and Market Interactions: Evidence from Social Enterprises
Social entrepreneurs are often thought to be dissenters or market rebels. They tend to serve new markets, exploit opportunities that other agents neglect. With this specific research project, we wish to put these intuitions to the test, both theoretically and empirically...
Click here to read the project abstract in full.

Diversification Strategies, Innovation and Policy-making Influence:
Evidence from Social Enterprises

The vast majority of research on corporate diversification focuses on large “traditional” for-profit firm diversification strategies and performance (for reviews see Ramanujam and Varadarajan, 1989; Montgomery, 1994; and Palich, Cardinal and Miller, 2000). A few studies have indicated that diversification is also a favoured strategy among a small proportion of young, small firms (e.g., Kim and Kogut, 1996). However, despite the growing use of diversification strategies by social enterprises, no one, to the best of our knowledge, has rigorously investigated their logic in the context of social enterprise... Click here to read the project abstract in

Productivity in Contests: Organizational Culture and Personality Effects
We study the interaction of organizational culture and personal prosocial orientation in team work where teams compete against each other. In a computerized lab experiment with minimal group design, we assign subjects to two alternative primed organizational cultures emphasizing either self-enhancement or self-trancendence.... Click here to read the project abstract in
full or click here to read a first version of paper in full.

Integrating Morals into Banking: Organizational Configuration and Consequences
We study one of the largest ethical banks in Europe to understand how morals, or values, can be ingrained and integrated into banking. The research highlights – drawing on organizational configuration theory (e.g.  Short, Payne, & Ketchen, 2008) –the importance of close alignment of organizational goals, strategies, structures and business practices as well as the significance of making ‘morals’ or values part of the target the bank strives to achieve rather than an ‘add-on’ (such as corporate social responsibility initiatives)...
Click here to read the project abstract in full.

[2] Developing and Pilot-testing SELUSI Innovation Strategy

We collaborate with real-life companies and exploit i-propeller’s innovation methodology geared to generate novel social and profitable service design concepts, to understand what, if any, value social entrepreneurs can contribute to such a process. This action-research approach allows us to systematically explore the potential of social entrepreneurs to act as outside or lead innovators in a stylized process aimed at identifying practical and promising service innovations. At the same time, it allows the European Commission to obtain a unique understanding of how mainstream business could leverage social business innovation, and thus help the EU realize its wider Strategy 2020.

[2.1] Action-oriented experiment with a leading national telecommunications company in Western Europe

[2.2] Action-oriented experiment with a world leader in the development and production body area networks

Click here for a short video about the challenge we are working on.

[2.3] Exploration in Partnerships: Experimental Evidence


  • Final Project Conference in BXL

    Wed 30 November -1
    Conference Title: Social Enterprise and Social Business Innovation in Europe Key findings of a 3-year research to be presented by top academics at the closing conference on 6-7 October in Brussels What ...More