Saving the world through business – how do social entrepreneurs juggle their societal agenda and realities of business? A discursive approach

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dc.contributor Aalto University en
dc.contributor Aalto-yliopisto fi
dc.contributor.advisor Tienari, Janne Lankinen, Elina 2017-02-14T08:47:29Z 2017-02-14T08:47:29Z 2016
dc.description.abstract The purpose of my research is to explore the discourses social entrepreneurs use to present and rationalize their operation, and how they discursively try to balance between the ‘social’ and the business. Social entrepreneurs and enterprises lack a clear definition, but have established a distinctive group of actors who are addressing many kinds of social and environmental issues through market approaches (Dempsey & Sanders, 2010; Douglas & Grant, 2014). My research is born out of interest in those actors and their understanding of their position in society and business. The concept of a business whose primary goal is to advance a societal agenda, rather than to accumulate wealth, also strikes a nerve in the discussion between business and politics. Some researchers argue that social enterprises are by their very nature political (Cho, 2006). This study explores the discussion around the role of business and social enterprises in society through a critical understanding of predominant corporate social responsibility and sustainability discourses. I strive to understand how social enterprises might be blurring the line between private economic activities and public political activities, thus contributing to creating arenas that amplify neoliberal voices (Shamir, 2008; Fougére & Solitander, 2009). One of the corner stones for this research is the approach that discourses are not only social texts that mirror reality but that social reality is discursively constructed – how language can actively shape social reality and affect and even limit our thinking (Alvesson & Kärreman, 2000). Many discourse analyses are only descriptive. However, through a critical approach one can put a particular object of study in a wider cultural, economic and political context (Alvesson & Deetz, 2000). What the social entrepreneurs say is also always ‘said’ against a background of what is 'unsaid’, but taken as a given (Fairclough, 2003). In the discourses found the choice of capitalist modus operandi is left ‘unsaid’ and the choice of societal agenda is veiled as a matter of mere personal affinities amplified by contemporary calls for meaningful work (Dempsey & Sanders, 2010). Operating on a level of the private and the personal, the discourses elude recognition of their inherent political nature (Cho, 2006). The discourses also encourage the entrepreneurs to see social issues as business opportunities, contributing to marketization of social issues and ‘politics via markets’ (Shamir, 2008). en
dc.format.extent 59
dc.language.iso en en
dc.title Saving the world through business – how do social entrepreneurs juggle their societal agenda and realities of business? A discursive approach en
dc.type G2 Pro gradu, diplomityö fi Kauppakorkeakoulu fi School of Business en
dc.contributor.department Johtamisen laitos fi
dc.subject.keyword social enterprise en
dc.subject.keyword social entrepreneurship en
dc.subject.keyword discourse analysis en
dc.subject.keyword marketization en
dc.subject.keyword politics via markets en
dc.identifier.urn URN:NBN:fi:aalto-201702142343
dc.type.ontasot Master's thesis en
dc.type.ontasot Maisterin opinnäyte fi
dc.programme Management and International Business (MIB) en
dc.subject.helecon johtaminen fi
dc.subject.helecon kansainväliset yhtiöt fi
dc.subject.helecon sosiaalinen yrittäjyys fi
dc.subject.helecon kapitalismi fi
dc.ethesisid 14859
dc.location P1 I fi

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