Organizing in, through, and for place: the role of place in cross-sector partnerships, social enterprise, and community-based enterprise

Brenton, Jennifer N. (2022) Organizing in, through, and for place: the role of place in cross-sector partnerships, social enterprise, and community-based enterprise. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Sustainability challenges, like climate change and extreme poverty, are increasingly recognized, in practice and research, as the most pressing dilemmas of this day and age. Despite the global scale and scope of these challenges, a growing body of research has recognized that these challenges manifest and are felt in local places. In addition, different forms of organizing designed to address these issues and create social impact have garnered attention in organizational research, including cross-sector partnerships and social enterprises. Despite the growing literature on these forms of organizing, research has yet to fully explore how these organizations interact with and leverage place to achieve their goals and social missions. In addition, organizational scholars have begun to consider the role of organizations, including social and community-based enterprises, in the development and regeneration of local communities. However, more research is needed to further our understanding of the ways in which these organizations leverage their embeddedness in place to shape and drive community development. My research seeks to advance existing research by exploring the role of place in organizing for sustainability through three qualitative case studies in a manuscript-style thesis. These case studies use place, including the natural, built, cultural, and social dimensions of geographic locations, as a common theme to examine three distinct but interlinked contexts where sustainability issues are addressed: cross-sector partnerships, social enterprises, and community-based enterprises. The first manuscript in this collection explores the role of place in facilitating cross-sector partnerships, the second explores the role of embeddedness in place in social entrepreneurship, and the final manuscript explores how place can be leveraged by community-based enterprises to enable long-term local impact. My research also draws upon principles of engaged scholarship and involves the co-creation of knowledge with community research partners to mobilize findings and address local challenges. This thesis builds mid-range organizational theory by engaging with the concept of place from a multidisciplinary perspective to advance our understanding of cross-sector partnerships, social enterprises, and community-based enterprises. The main findings of this body of research highlight that place can be more than a backdrop or context for organizations working to address sustainability challenges. Rather, place, and its many dimensions, can be leveraged to facilitate cross-sector partnerships, navigate tensions of social entrepreneurship, and advance community development initiatives.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 15834
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references
Keywords: place, sustainability, cross-sector partnerships, social enterprise, community-based enterprise
Department(s): Business Administration, Faculty of
Date: December 2022
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Entrepreneurship; Organization--Research; Organizational sociology--Research; Community development; Business enterprises

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