Social Entrepreneurship

‘Social entrepreneurship and organizational performance: A study of the mediating role of distinctive competencies in marketing’ (conclusion).

The global economy of the 21st century is not what was expected. On the one hand, the literature about the current model of globalization implies that political-institutional failures have slowed down the growth of companies and innovations, hindering a greater liberalization of the economy. On the other hand, detractors of the model believe that the cause lies in the chaos produced since 2008, not only because of an excess of deregulation and liberalization of the economy but also, because of a high degree of business competition. This current model is based on the paradigm of competition, whereby making a profit is prioritized over sharing life with altruistic human beings and their concern for social problems.

Over the last decades, a number of organizations known as social economy companies have played a major role in the search for solutions that should contribute to improving social welfare and the life quality of vulnerable groups that are excluded from the dynamics of the capitalist system. All this has given rise to the development of a complementary paradigm that is juxtaposed with the previous one: the economy of entrepreneurship.

Concerning the economy of entrepreneurship in this study, the focus was placed mostly on social entrepreneurship. Besides creating socially positive businesses social entrepreneurs run not only an economically and technically viable business project but also a socially useful one.

In this line, the results of the research carried out on a sample of 221 national social economy entities confirm that the degree of social entrepreneurship has a positive and significant effect on organizational performance. With regard to the distinctive competencies in marketing, they represent a mediating variable between social entrepreneurship and performance; therefore, their inclusion in the explanatory model contributes to a better understanding of that relationship.

Social entrepreneurs try to combine the social purpose they promote with the effectiveness and efficiency of the business in order to be profitable and able to support themselves. The literature classifies social entrepreneurship within the model of sustainable competitive advantage (Sullivan et al., 2003; Weerawardena & Sullivan-mort, 2001) and considers it a behavior that develops in social organizations as a result of the optimal management of the resources and capacities of a company (Barney, 1986; Teece, 1980), leading to tacit knowledge, emotional intelligence, etc. At the same time, social entrepreneurship is a consequence of altruism in a community and its social networks (Chell, 2007), while social capital is one of the main assets that enables all social entrepreneurship to access other forms of physical, human, or financial capital (Liñán & Santos, 2007). Therefore, the capacity of social entrepreneurship can be considered a competitive advantage generator, whereas the income produced by this advantage leads to greater organizational performance.

Consequently, certain characteristics of social entrepreneurship such as the ability to detect opportunities, the innovative spirit, and social commitment in organizations should be encouraged because they foster a beneficial environment for the creation of distinctive marketing competencies in the organization. These competencies lead to sustainable competitive advantages like identifying opportunities and business trends, becoming aware of the weaknesses that should be changed through innovation in the company, launching new products, and choosing the distribution and point of sale, among other aspects.

Entrepreneurs who are well-positioned in order to have a high number of connections in the network will enjoy significant competitive advantages by building closer relationships, obtaining synergies of additional resources, and creating advantages from the productivity that results from their location within the network.

__Barney, J. B. (1986). Strategic factor markets: Expectations, luck, and business strategy. Management Science, 32(10), 1231-1241.
__Chell, E. (2007). Social enterprise and entrepreneurship: Towards a convergent theory of the entrepreneurial process. International Small Business Journal, 25(1), 5-26.
__Liñán, F., & Santos, F. J. (2007). Does social capital affect entrepreneurial intentions?. International Advances in Economic Research, 13(4), 443-453.
__Palacios-Marqués, D., García, M. G., Sánchez, M. M., & Mari, M. P. A. (2019). Social entrepreneurship and organizational performance: A study of the mediating role of distinctive competencies in marketing. Journal of Business Research, 101, 426-432.
__Sullivan, G., Weerawardena, J., & Carnegie, K. (2003). Social entrepreneurship: Towards conceptualization. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, 8(1), 76–88.
__Teece, D. J., Pisano, G., & Shuen, A. (1997). Dynamic capabilities and strategic management. Strategic Management Journal, 18(7), 509-533.
__Weerawardena, J., & Sullivan-Mort, G. (2001). Learning, innovation and competitive advantage in not-for-profit aged care marketing: A conceptual model and research propositions. Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing, 9(3), 53-73.


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