Examining Competitive Intensity and Social Enterprise Performance
This thesis explores how Social Enterprises’(SE) manage their economically-driven activities with their mission-related activity and how these impact their relative economic and social performance. Given the little research that has been done on external factors within SEs, competitive intensity and its impact on the performance of hybrid SEs was also examined in terms of how it might influence the above trade-offs. The authors looked at longstanding, social enterprises within the second-hand textile industry as a suitable model for SEs participating in a competitive environment. What the authors found was that while economically-driven activities appeared to have a negative impact on social performance, counter-intuitively, mission-driven activity had a positive effect on both social and financial performance. Furthermore, while competitive intensity has a positive buffering effect between mission-driven activity and both economic and social performance, the opposite is true of economic-driven activity, where competition seems to have a negative buffering impact. These findings demonstrate the need for further research into the role competition plays within hybrid organizations and from a practical position, may inform the strategic decisions of managers who might expect a linear relationship between the type of activity engaged and outcomes.