Department of Management

Balancing dual missions for social venture growth: a comparative case study

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  • Nicole Siebold, Otto-von-Guericke-University, Germany
  • Franziska Günzel-Jensen
  • Sabine Müller, Lego Systems A/S, Global Insights

Balancing social and economic missions in the pursuit of growth is one of the greatest challenges faced by social ventures. Although social ventures strive for growth to scale their social impact, pursuing growth often results in mission drift and the sacrifice of social objectives, which in turn eventually undermine the ventures’ raison d’être. In this study, we investigate how and with what outcomes social ventures that pursue growth can manage the balance of social and economic missions. Through a comparative case study of six for-profit social ventures, we find significant differences in how dual missions are selected, connected, and intertwined, leading to varying degrees of mission spillover effects between social and economic missions. Our findings show that two-sided mission spillover effects are a central mechanism in dual mission management, enabling social ventures to pursue balanced growth, avoid mission drift, and achieve social impact. With these findings, this study adds to the emergent literature on social entrepreneurship, dual mission management, and social venture growth.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEntrepreneurship and Regional Development
Pages (from-to)710-734
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • balance, dual mission management, mission drift, mission spillover effects, Social entrepreneurship, social venture growth, ENTERPRISES, BUSINESS MODELS, BRICOLAGE, REGIONAL-DEVELOPMENT, HYBRID ORGANIZATIONS, INSTITUTIONAL LOGICS, DRIFT, CHALLENGES, ENTREPRENEURSHIP, IDENTITY

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