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Strategizing on behalf of social enterprises: Exploring the efforts of a "monomaniac with a mission"

EasyChair Preprint no. 1119

33 pagesDate: June 8, 2019


The paper adds to the literature on social enterprises (e.g., Guo and Bielefeld, 2014) principally by drawing on the strategy-as-practice tradition of strategy research (Golsorkhi, et al., 2015), along with the literatures on individual and collective leadership (e.g., Quick, 2015), collaboration (e.g., Bryson, Crosby and Stone, 2015), and strategic action field change (e.g., Fligstein and McAdam, 2012). The empirical focus is on the growth and development of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA), a non-profit organization headquartered in Minneapolis, and Catalyst, a collaboration of complementary minority business-support organizations in the Twin Cities MEDA helped organize. MEDA and Catalyst are nonprofit social enterprises in that they draw on the authority and resources of federal, state, and local governments; use foundation, bank, and corporate financing; rely on market-oriented strategies in support of business development; and engage in political advocacy to address important public concerns that governments alone cannot address effectively (Guo and Bieliefeld, 2014). In this paper, we trace the strategic thinking of Gary Cunningham, the President and CEO of MEDA, from the time he joined the organization in August 2014 through December 2018, when Catalyst formally adopted a detailed MOU outlining its purposes, guiding principles, formal governance processes, and project management approach. We analyse the context of Cunningham’s thinking and its consequences for the development of MEDA and Catalyst. We adopt a longitudinal case study method to capture the dynamics within MEDA and in the process of collaboration while understanding its holistic characteristics (Eisenhardt, 1989; Langley, 1999; Yin, 2009). 

Keyphrases: collaboration, Leadership, social enterprise, Strategizing, strategy-as-practice

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {John Bryson and Barbara Crosby and Danbi Seo},
  title = {Strategizing on behalf of social enterprises: Exploring the efforts of a "monomaniac with a mission"},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 1119},

  year = {EasyChair, 2019}}
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