Author(s): Youngkeun Choi, Sugin Chang, Jaewon Choi, Yeonok Seong
Social enterprises provide balance between social service-related and profit-making activities. They can be financially sustainable in markets and provide social services that are not provided in the market or by government. In the Korean context, social enterprises also provide jobs and increase employment rates in times of slow economic growth and social inequality. This study investigates the position of social enterprises in the local institutional environment, the partnerships between institutions involved in social enterprises and the effect of these enterprises on society. This study considers partnerships between organizations as key resources for successful implementation of social enterprises from the resource-based view. Because different scope of partnership network make different contributions to social enterprises, partnership network horizontal scope were identified as partnership with government, for-profit organizations, non-profit organizations and partnership network vertical scope were identified as financial support, managerial support and marketing support. The Ministry of Employment and Labour has certified social enterprises in Korea since 2010. In this study, a survey of 565 certified social enterprises was conducted. Data for about 70 of these 565 social enterprises were used in hierarchical regression analyses. The results of the analysis showed a positive association between partnerships with government and non-profit organizations and the social performance of social enterprises. However, a negative association was found between partnerships with for-profit organizations and the social performance of social enterprises. The partnerships for marketing support were positively associated with the social performance of firms engaging in social enterprises, but financial support was negatively associated with social performance. Results for managerial support were not significant. Finally, a negative association was found between the period of social enterprise certification and social performance and entrepreneur capability influenced social performance positively.