Transforming Good Intentions into Social Impact: A Case on the Creation and Evolution of a Social Enterprise

Journal of Business Ethics 159 (3):665-678 (2019)
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Abstract

Process models are valuable conceptual tools to help in understanding the approaches to value creation in social enterprises. This teaching case illustrates the application of a process model about creating, building, and sustaining a social enterprise with a mission to provide clean water to communities in need. The social enterprise generates revenue in support of community water projects and works with community stakeholders in different locations throughout the world to provide sustainable clean water solutions. The case study uses primary data from semi-structured interviews, direct observations of a community project, and archival sources to demonstrate application of the process model. The study shows how the social enterprise developed as a promising idea; was implemented through an operating model with resources to support social impact; and continues to build and evolve while guided by the social mission. The paper concludes with a discussion and teaching note on ways to use the case for educational purposes to enhance learning about the social value creation process.

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