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Social mission as competitive advantage: A configurational analysis of the strategic conditions of social entrepreneurship

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jonathan Kimmitt



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


In social entrepreneurship, social and economic missions co-exist in a tensioned balance. At times, business survival requires reprioritizing objectives, leading social entrepreneurs to drift away from social values in pursuit of commercial gains. This requires (re)balancing acts aimed at mitigating the effects of drift. Although critical for business survival, the micro antecedents of this balancing act remain uncovered. This study explores the complex interactions between the strategic conditions of social entrepreneurs in the development of market-oriented social missions. Drawing on a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis of 111 social entrepreneurs in Chile, this study reveals four alternative combinations of strategic conditions that explain why the social mission of a social entrepreneur can be perceived as being valuable for achieving a competitive advantage. The findings contribute to a more complex understanding of the set of conditions involved in the balancing act between social and economic missions in social entrepreneurship. This study calls into question the binary assumption underlying the commitment of social entrepreneurs to their social mission.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Muñoz P, Kimmitt J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Business Research

Year: 2019

Volume: 101

Pages: 854-861

Print publication date: 01/08/2019

Online publication date: 28/11/2018

Acceptance date: 22/11/2018

Date deposited: 26/10/2018

ISSN (print): 0148-2963

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2018.11.044


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