Social economy and social entrepreneurship: divergent or complementary projects?

CJDES, Paris, 5th April 2012

Dr Rory Ridley-Duff, Sheffield Business School (SBS) (email Course Leader - MSc Co-operative and Social Enterprise Management Board Member Co-operatives Yorkshire & Humber Social Enterprise Yorkshire & Humber Rory Ridley-Duff, 2012

My connection to the social economy…
• Interest as an educator/researcher:
– Lead author of Understanding Social Enterprise: Theory and Practice, Sage Publications (student text for post-graduate study). – Course leader for MSc Co-operative and Social Enterprise Management, and module leader for two MSc Charity Resource Management modules. – Frequent contributor (and reviewer) of academic articles on social enterprise / social economy / co-operative enterprise.

• Interest as a practitioner:
– Worked for 12 years in a worker co-operative that co-founded Social Enterprise London
– Currently serve on four co-operative and social enterprise boards

Forms of Social Economy
• Co-operative and Mutual Enterprises
• Enterprises based on co-operative principles (self-help, selfresponsibility, equality, equity, solidarity).

• Primary Purpose Trading in Charities/NGOs
• Trading arrangements that are socially transformative for the people trading with each other or which fulfil the social/charitable purposes of the enterprise.

• Social Firms and Businesses
• The adaptation of (private) company law for the pursuit of a social purpose or mission (e.g. Social Purpose Companies in the EU, Community Interest Companies in the UK).

Two theoretical perspectives
• Socialised enterprises (mutual):
– Where social enterprise is seen as a process of distributing wealth, power and control to primary stakeholders (workforce, customers, producers, [service users]). – Where economic activity and social organisation are selected on the basis of their contribution to human well-being. – Where the management philosophy is changed to one based on „mutuality‟, „participatory democracy‟ and 'network governance'.

• Social purpose enterprises (philanthropic):
– Where social enterprise is seen as pursuit of a social goal using business practices. – Where economic activity is justified in terms of improving the well-being of a beneficiary group. – Where the management philosophy remains unchanged, rooted in „rationalist‟ and „managerialist‟ logic under board and executive control.
Based on Ridley-Duff, R. J. (2010) “Social Rationality and its Implications for Social Entrepreneurial Thinking”, Plenary to 2010 Research Colloquium on Social Entrepreneurship, Oxford University, 22nd – 25th June 2010.

Boundaries of the Debate
EU-style Social Economy: Collective Action Organised labour or government responses to social issues US-style Social Entrepreneurship: Individual Action Entrepreneurial (market) responses to social issues

Incremental building of social capital and Fast effective achievement of social assets outcomes Solidarity and mutuality Accommodation of stakeholders Democracy (bottom-up governance) Third sector / third way Champions and change agents Adherence to a ‘vision’ Philanthropy (top-down governance) Business thinking / any sector

Key questions for social entrepreneurs / social enterprises
1. What is the social purpose of your enterprise, and can you provide evidence that it is making a social impact? 2. Are the products and services your produce, and the way you produce them, subject to ethical review by primary stakeholders? 3. Does your enterprise socialise ownership, management and governance by passing democratic control to one or more primary stakeholders (service users, employees, customers, producers)?

A symbol that embraces the commitment of Social Enterprise Europe to build a social economy.

Sheffield Business School Support for

UN International Year of Cooperatives
• Futures North – Co-operatives Conference
– 23rd June 2012 (Saturday) – Flagship event for Co-operatives Fortnight 2012

• Co-operative and Social Enterprise Summer School
– Paris 20th-22nd June, Sheffield 18th-20th July 2012. – Two day taught course, one day Open Space event.

• Co-operative Councils Open Space Research Day
– 26th July 2012 (Thursday), Sheffield Business School – For co-operative / social economy researchers and council staff

• Co-operative and Social Enterprise Management Degree
– PG Certificate / PG Diploma / Masters – Next Intake January 2013 (can enrol on individual modules)

• At ICA Coop Expo, Manchester, 31st Oct - 2nd Nov.

References and Useful Reading
Aslam, A. (1999) “U.S. Wage Gap Widens”, Global Policy Forum,, accessed 14 December 2009. The claim is based on data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Co-operatives UK (2012) UN International Year of Co-operatives,, accessed 20th March 2012. Conn, D. (2006) “Barcelona‟s Model of Integrity Show Rights is Might”, The Guardian, 17th May,, accessed 20th January 2010. Cornforth, C. J., Thomas, A., Spear, R. G. and Lewis, J. M. (1988) Developing Successful Worker Co-ops, London: Sage Publications. Ellerman, D. (1997) The Democratic Corporation, Beijing: Xinhua Publishing House. First published as „The Democratic Firm‟ in 1990. Erdal, D. (2000) The Psychology of Sharing: An Evolutionary Approach, unpublished PhD Thesis, University of St Andrews. Erdal, D. (2011) Beyond the Corporation, Humanity Working: London: The Bodley Head

Hertz, N. (2011) Co-op Capitalism: A New Economic Model From the Carnage of the Old, Manchester: Co-operatives UKI.
Restakis, J. (2010) Humanizing the Economy: Co-operatives in the Age of Capital, New Society Publishers. Ridley-Duff, R. J. and Bull, M. (2011) Understanding Social Enterprise: Theory and Practice, London: Sage Publications. Wardle, L. (2012) Keynote Speech to the West Midlands Co-operative Meeting to celebrate the UN International Year of Cooperatives, Birmingham City Council, 23rd March. Weinbren, D. (2008) Families and Friendly Societies, Friendly Society Research Group.

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