Edited by Laura J. Spence, Jedrzej G. Frynas, Judy N. Muthuri and Jyoti Navare
Chapter 2: National context matters: influence of National Business System on social enterprises in Scotland and India
In recent years, social entrepreneurship has attracted increasing attention thanks to existing successful initiatives, such as the Ashoka Foundation, a global network of social entrepreneurs, and the work of social entrepreneur and Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus. This has led to a flourishing academic research stream seeking to understand the phenomenon of social enterprise. Recent research in social entrepreneurship has also stressed the need to understand the effects of the institutional context on social enterprise. As an attempt to respond to this need, we examine the cases of two social enterprises, one operating in a developed country context, namely Scotland, and the other in a developing country context, namely India. We draw on the literature on institutional theory to compare the influence of institutions on social entrepreneurship across the two countries. We employ Whitley’s (1999) National Business System (NBS) perspective, which argues that the institutional context has an important role in guiding economic behaviour and identifies the principal environmental dimensions that would be expected to impact on the behaviour of entrepreneurs. It is proposed that comparing a developed and developing country context will provide valuable insights into the wider triggers of social entrepreneurship that may differ between the two settings. The potential value of social entrepreneurship to policy makers as a response to intractable social and environmental problems that plague both the developed and developing world cannot be overstated. In comparing the two institutional contexts, mutual lessons emerge as to how to design policies to unleash the power of social entrepreneurship to tackle these issues.
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