Explaining the multifaceted nature of social enterprise: impression management as (social) entrepreneurial behaviour

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    Drawing on data from an in-depth case study of an embryonic social enterprise, this paper explores how social enterprises can utilise the multiple identities of social enterprise to access start-up funding. The social entrepreneur exhibited multiple organisational faces to external stakeholders in order to acquire resources. However, resource holders were not passive recipients of these managed impressions. Each had a strategic interest in the social enterprise
    being presented in a particular way and exerted coercive pressure on the social enterprise to conform to these co-constructed impressions. Utilising organisational impression management helped the social enterprise resist these coercive pressures.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)271-292
    Number of pages20
    JournalVoluntary Sector Review
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010



    • social enterprise
    • social entrepreneurship
    • impression management
    • resource acquisition
    • legitimacy

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