Is legitimacy still an adequate response for social enterprises? Lessons from engaging with Gramsci and Bourdieu

Lucas, Iain and Nicolopoulou, Katerina and Karatas-Ozkan, Mine and Costanzo, Laura and Manville, Graham (2013) Is legitimacy still an adequate response for social enterprises? Lessons from engaging with Gramsci and Bourdieu. In: Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand SOCIAL INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP CONFERENCE: Blurring Boundaries, Transcending Barriers 27-29 November 2013, 2013-11-27.

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Abstract

Social enterprises have attracted growing interest from policy makers, practitioners in the public, private and third sector, as well as academics. Social enterprise leaders or managers often act as ‘change agents’, therefore, ethical frameworks within with which they develop, sustain and grow their organizations become important. The theoretical underpinnings of our inquiry are based on premises of Gramsci and Bourdieu, and the ways in which commonality in their conceptualization of structures of power and legitimation highlight relevant aspects for social enterprises. We explore the above topics, drawing from data obtained in the context of 6 social enterprises in the UK.