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Edited by Stephen P. Osborne and Louise Brown
Chapter 28: Social enterprise and innovation in third sector organizations
While the space between the public and private sectors has been explored extensively in the academic literature, policy makers are increasingly interested in the potential of organizations with social values, not-for-personal-profit aims and raising income through trading and contracts, to become involved in the delivery of public services. We refer to these entities as ‘social enterprises’. Governments are particularly keen to embrace the concept of social enterprise as an alternative modus operandi for third sector organizations (TSOs) in their attempts at modernizing public service provision (Chew 2009a,b). Using social services provision as an example, Evers (2005) argues that voluntary and community social enterprises have emerged from the New Public Management era due to a process of hybridization between third sector and public sector organizations, as various types of public services, governance mechanisms, networks and markets overlap and intertwine. This development has been particularly evident in the UK since the early 2000s where central and local governments have been urging TSOs to adopt the social enterprise model to effect social change, to deliver services to the local community more effectively and as an alternative means to sustain their operations (Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 2002; Cabinet Office 2006).
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