Communitarian perspectives on social enterprise

RIDLEY-DUFF, R. (2007). Communitarian perspectives on social enterprise. Corporate governance: an international review, 15 (2), 382-392.


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Concepts of social enterprise have been debated repeatedly, and continue to cause confusion. In this paper, a meta-theoretical framework is developed through discussion of individualist and communitarian philosophy. Philosophers from both traditions build social theories that emphasise either consensus (a unitarist outlook) or diversity (a pluralist outlook). The various discourses in corporate governance reflect these assumptions and create four distinct approaches that impact on the relationship between capital and labour. In rejecting the traditional discourse of private enterprise, social enterprises have adopted other approaches to tackle social exclusion, each derived from different underlying beliefs about the purpose of enterprise and the nature of governance. The theoretical framework offers a way to understand the diversity found within the sector, including the newly constituted Community Interest Company (CIC).

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published in Corporate governance: an international review 15(2), 382-392. The definitive version is available at
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Business School Research Institute > People, Work and Organisation
Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Business School > Department of Management
Identification Number:
Page Range: 382-392
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2008
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 14:19

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