ePapers Repository

Black boxes in the wreckage? Making sense of failure in a third sector social enterprise

Scott, Duncan W (2010) Black boxes in the wreckage? Making sense of failure in a third sector social enterprise. Working Paper. University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.

[img]
Preview
PDF
WP31_Black_Boxes_in_the_wreckage_%2D_Scott_Feb_10.pdf
373Kb

URL of Published Version: http://www.tsrc.ac.uk/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=kST4jhqoOH0%3d&tabid=500

Abstract

This paper examines the experiences of a single social enterprise that grew rapidly but ended in failure. Over more than 8 years, the author conducted intensive field research during the social enterprise’s life and held detailed post-mortems with key players after its death. This material is part of longitudinal research on social enterprise activity in the voluntary and community sectors, (Pharoah, Scott and Fisher, 2004; Russell and Scott, 2007). It is complemented by a review of five studies of social enterprise failure, together with some wider reflections about reporting on various ‘troubles’ (e.g. error, failure and scandal). The primary emphasis is upon problems involved in ‘making sense’, but is illustrated with reference to the experiences of this case study and the limited literature relating to social enterprise failure.

Type of Work:Monograph (Working Paper)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Number of Pages:25
Department:Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC)
References:

Ahmed, S (2009), On tough economic times, Guardian 18.2.09

Amin, A HUDSON, R & CAMERON, A (2002), Placing the Social Economy, London, Routledge.

Back, L (2007), The Art of Listening, Oxford, Berg

Baumard, P, (2001), Tacit Knowledge in Organizations, London, Sage.

Bornstein, D (2007), How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of Ideas, New York, Oxford University Press

Dart, R (2004), The legitimacy of Social Enterprise, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Vol 14, No. 4, Summer pp 411-424

Dart, R (2004a), Being Business-like in a Non-Profit Organisation: A grounded and Inductive Typology, Nonprofit and Voluntary SectorQuarterly, Vol. 33, No 2, June pp 290-310

Dees, J, D (1998), Enterprising non-profits, Harvard Business Review, Vol 76, No 1, pp54-66

DTA, (2002), Fabulous beasts: stories of community enterprise from the DTA (Development Trusts Association), London, September

DTA,(2008), Early Warning Guide, London, Development Trusts Association, June 2008

Foster, W & Bradach, J (2005), Should Nonprofits Seek Profits? Harvard Business Review, February, pp 92-100

Gawande, A, (2003), Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an imperfect science, London, Profile Books

Gibelman, M & Gelman, S, R, (2001), Very Public Scandals: Nongovernmental Organisations in Trouble, Voluntas, Vol 12, No 1, pp 49-66

Greenland, R (2008), Social Entrepreneurs are not Superheroes, Guardian, 27.2.08

Kaletsky, A, (2009), Goodbye Homo Economicus, Prospect, April pp 46-49

Langewiesche,W(2009),Fly by Wire: The Geese, the Glide, the Miracle on the Hudson, New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux,

Lanzerotti, L (2002), From Opening Doors to Closing Shop: A Case-Study of “Youth Industry’s” Impact on Homeless Youth and the Organisation’s Decision to Close, San Francisco, BTW Consultants for the Roberts Enterprise Development Fund

Leve, A, (2009), Don’t Make Me Laugh. It’s Cool To Be Gloomy: The Ups Of Being Down, Sunday Times, 19/7/09

Mcrae, H, (2009), Could Charities come to our rescue? The Independent, 15.5.09

Ormerod, P (2006), Why Most Things Fail: Evolution, Extinction and Economics, London, Faber & Faber

Pharoah, C, Scott, D & Fisher, A (2004), Social Enterprise in the Balance: Challenges for the Voluntary Sector, West Malling, Charities Aid Foundation

Russell, L & Scott, D (2005) Researching voluntary and community action: The potential of qualitative case studies, York, Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Russell, L & Scott, D (2007) Social Enterprise in Practice: Developmental Stories from the Voluntary and Community Sectors, West Malling, Charities Aid Foundation

Salamon, L (1995) The Global Associational Revolution: The Rise of the Third Sectoron the World Scene, London, Demos

Scott, D, (2003), Enterprise Action: A Case-Study of a Social Enterprise in Steeltown, West Malling, Charities Aid Foundation (unpublished report)

Seanor, P K & Meaton, J (2008), Learning from failure, ambiguity and trust in social enterprise, Social Enterprise Journal, Vol 4, No 1, pp24-40

Tracey, & Jarvis, O (2007), Towards a Theory of Social Venture Franchising, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, September, pp 667-685

Twersky, F & Lanzerotti, L (1999), Enterprises Gone but not forgotten: Lessons learned from Three (one later withdrew) organisations and REDF, San Francisco, BTW Consultants for the Roberts Enterprise Development Fund

Walshe, K, Harvey G, Skelcher, C & JAS, P (2009), Could do Better? Knowledge, Learning and Performance improvement in public services, Report to the ESRC Public Services Programme, Universities of Manchester & Birmingham

Series/Collection Name:TSRC Working Paper Series
Keywords:Social Enterprise; longitudinal research; failure; case study; organisational learning.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Related URLs:
URLURL Type
http://www.tsrc.ac.ukOrganisation
Funders:Economic and Social Science Research Council, Office for Civil Society, Barrow Cadbury Trust
ID Code:794

Export Reference As : ASCII + BibTeX + Dublin Core + EndNote + HTML + METS + MODS + OpenURL Object + Reference Manager + Refer + RefWorks
Share this item :
QR Code for this page

Repository Staff Only: item control page