Title: Theorising and strategising with models: generative models of social enterprises

Authors: Christian Seelos

Addresses: Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, Stanford University, Encina Modular C, 429 Arguello Way, Stanford, CA 94305-6042, USA

Abstract: Social entrepreneurship research often relies on presenting narratives of organisations that integrate various actors, actions, contextual elements and outcomes without a clear perspective on why these elements were selected and what can be learned from them. This paper provides a transparent and systematic process of modelling organisations and proposes a validity triangle that adequately integrates analytical, theoretical and ontological dimensions. An illustrative case study demonstrates the choices involved in a valid modelling process. It also illustrates the steps involved in building a generative model of a social enterprise that accounts for the mechanisms that explain how the focal organisation achieves multiple strategic objectives.

Keywords: social entrepreneurship; generative models; retroduction; social mechanisms; social enterprises; organisational modelling.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEV.2014.059406

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 2014 Vol.6 No.1, pp.6 - 21

Accepted: 14 Jun 2012
Published online: 20 Feb 2014 *

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