Despite efforts to address societal ills, social enterprises face challenges in increasing their impact. Drawing from the RBV, we argue that a social enterprise’s scale of social impact depends on its capabilities to engage stakeholders, attract government support, and generate earned-income. We test our hypotheses on a sample of 171 US-based social enterprises and find support for the hypothesized relationships between these organizational capabilities and scale of social impact. Further, we find that these relationships are contingent upon stewardship culture. Specifically, we show that an entrepreneur-centered stewardship culture increases the effects of the capabilities to attract government support and to generate earned-income, while an employee-centered stewardship culture compensates for low abilities to attract government support and to generate earned-income.
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We would like to thank our editor and two anonymous reviewers for their developmental feedback and guidance. We are grateful to Tom Lumpkin for very helpful comments and suggestions on an earlier draft. We also benefited from presenting previous versions of this paper at the 2014 Annual Conference of the Strategic Management Society, and the 2015 Annual Conference of the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, where the paper was awarded Best Paper in Public Policy. Kimberly Eddleston gratefully acknowledges the support provided by the Schulze Foundation and the Daniel and Dorthy Grady Fellowship.
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Bacq, S., Eddleston, K.A. A Resource-Based View of Social Entrepreneurship: How Stewardship Culture Benefits Scale of Social Impact. J Bus Ethics 152, 589–611 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-016-3317-1
- Social enterprises
- Resource-based view
- Scale of social impact