Social enterprises and societal change: Mobilizing through framing

Research output: Not indexed journal articleArticle


Social enterprises (SEs) are innovative organizational forms aiming to tackle large scale societal challenges with an entrepreneurial approach. Since their fundamental approach differs from that of traditional social activists, the way SEs characterize problems, propose solutions and motivate actions could differ as well and reveal new practices to promote societal change. By analyzing their discourse, we show that SEs take a direct as well as an indirect approach to creating change. Using concepts and frameworks developed by social movement theory, we identify how social enterprise frame societal challenges to mobilize support and provide insight into the motivational framing process. We find that SEs use framing tactics that appeal to a sense of connection, a sense of injustice, a sense of efficacy, and by calling to action. Our study shows the important role of emotions in their efforts to mobilize support for a societal challenge, in particular through storytelling.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationAcademy of Management Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


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