What’s in a name? Making sense of social enterprise discourses

Simon Teasdale

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    263 Citations (Scopus)


    Much attention has been paid to the contested concept of ‘‘social enterprise’’. A wide variety of organisational types have had the label attributed to them or have tried to claim the label for themselves. Existing academic literature provides a bewildering array of definitions and explanations for the emergence of social enterprise. This conceptual confusion is because social enterprise is a fluid and contested concept constructed by different actors promoting different discourses connected to different organisational forms and drawing upon different academic theories. This article makes sense of these different social enterprise forms, academic explanations and policy and practitioner discourses.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1
    Pages (from-to)99-119
    Number of pages21
    JournalPublic Policy and Administration
    Issue number2
    Early online date25 May 2011
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


    • social enterprise
    • definition
    • discourse
    • public sector reform
    • social construction
    • service delivery
    • third sector

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Sciences(all)


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