Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

International Social Entrepreneurship and Social Value Creation in Cause-Related Marketing through Personal Relationships and Accountability

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Suraksha Gupta, Dr Rama Kanungo



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2020.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


© 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited.Purpose: Drawing on the resource-based view (RBV) and literature on relational embeddedness and network ties, we examine how personal relationships of international social entrepreneurs and accountability of social enterprises influence social value creation in cause-related marketing (CRM) of three UK-based international charities. The study also explores how personal relationships of international social entrepreneurs affect accountability of social entrepreneurship for social value creation of non-profit organizations in the UK context. Design/methodology/approach: Our research aimed to inform international social entrepreneurship literature by exploring the impact of personal relationships on accountability and social value creation processes via cause-related marketing (CRM) practices using a case study method. The lack of clearly defined social value creation in social entrepreneurship, and somewhat intangible processes of relationally embedded ties, accountability, and their impact, the case study method is most suited for this study. In particular, inquiry-based investigation surrounding social value, embedded ties and accountability requires systematic and structured dissemination to capture latent constructs. Findings: The findings show the importance of personal ties in the alignment of social mission with corporate social responsibility between UK-based international charities and commercial organizations across borders. In international social entrepreneurship, social value creation is facilitated by accountability of social goals while trust-based personal relationships assist access to commercial opportunities. Research limitations/implications: Further research could examine the role of trust in creating greater social value from an international social entrepreneurial perspective rather than from a solely non-profit social mission. It can also consider additional factors such as gender and cultural capital issues to investigate the role of personal relationships of international social entrepreneurs in the accountability and social value creation of non-profit organizations. Practical implications: The need to fulfil social objectives, missions and obligations are central to the involvement of international social entrepreneurs in CRM activities with commercial organizations. Accountability through clear communications serves as the basis for brokering new ties or partnerships within the social relations of entrepreneurs, particularly weak ties rendering trust for third party endorsement and sharing of information. Although partnerships with commercial organizations may create social value in CRM, the reliance on personal relationships may expose international social entrepreneurs to unethical practice beyond immediate relationships and/or opportunistic behavior without formal contracting mechanisms. International social entrepreneurs must therefore match the core values of their social mission with potential partners in their CRM engagements. Originality/value: The literature on international social entrepreneurship has not considered how social entrepreneurs' personal relationships at the individual level may impact accountability of social entrepreneurship for CRM and social value creation. This study builds on these studies by examining how individual level personal relationships of international social entrepreneurs with external stakeholders influence accountability of social entrepreneurship for CRM and social value creation at the organizational level. This study also builds on prior studies about entrepreneurial networks and network ties by examining the processes in which international social entrepreneurs use their personal relationships to access and utilize external resources for social value creation in CRM. Finally, this study contributes to previous research which provides limited insights into the international social entrepreneurship among organizations with reference to CRM where social value attributes are evaluated by embedded relational ties.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Eng T-Y, Ozdemir S, Gupta S, Kanungo RP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Marketing Review

Year: 2020

Volume: 37

Issue: 5

Pages: 945-976

Online publication date: 03/08/2020

Acceptance date: 04/06/2020

Date deposited: 19/01/2021

ISSN (print): 0265-1335

Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1108/IMR-12-2018-0360


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric