In this paper we apply the established ‘neo-contingency approach’ from organizational theory into the field of community-led social ventures which, by necessity, have to be embedded within their local community context in order to achieve their social mission. Through our analysis of three heterogeneous case studies from around rural Japan, we show how the external environment and contingencies affect leadership style and the pattern of social capital, influencing the type of community development apparent in each setting. We propose that local contingencies, such as external environment, leadership and social capital, play a role in influencing organizational culture in community-led social ventures and, indeed, the form that the social venture takes. We conclude by arguing that if the neo-contingency approach is to fulfil its potential then further theoretical and conceptual development is required.
- community development projects
- neo-contingency approach
- social capital
- social ventures