Title: Challenges and strategies for start-up social movement organisations: the case of a new Canadian climate change advocacy group

Authors: Deborah De Lange

Addresses: Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, 55 Dundas St. West, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 2C5, Canada

Abstract: When a group of Canadian scholars formed an organisation advocating solutions for climate change in a national environment generally not supportive of climate activism, an opportunity arose for a unique case study that could contribute to social movement theory. Research has rarely developed theory on start-up social movement organisations (SMOs) facing conditions antithetical to survival. This research considers challenges and possible strategies for a new start-up SMO together with some implications for the SMO of the multi-level pressures within the SMO's organisational field. This case study suggests that a legitimacy seeking start-up SMO is vulnerable to oppositional external influences leading it to self-censorship. Despite international messages opposing local ones, the local environment has a strong effect on the new SMO attempting to influence local constituents.

Keywords: social movement theory; case study; start-up social movements; Canada; climate change advocacy; advocacy groups; climate activism; legitimacy seeking; external influences; self-censorship; local environment.

DOI: 10.1504/IJISD.2017.10003605

International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, 2017 Vol.11 No.2/3, pp.191 - 212

Received: 20 May 2016
Accepted: 31 Jul 2016

Published online: 23 Mar 2017 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article