What the heck? Who the hell am I? Multiple logics and organizational members’ identity in social enterprises: A case in the retail ind

University essay from Lunds universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: Social enterprises are hybrid organizations with two institutional logics, one focusing on social goals and the other one focusing on economic profitability. Both logics set the attributes for an organization. These attributes are, for instance, goals, values, or beliefs. The presence of two different logics can generate tension in these attributes. One type of tension is belonging tension. This tension refers to the personal struggle of an organizational member that tries to identify themself with the hybrid organization, which holds two logics and therefore possesses multiple goals, values, or beliefs. Through an abductive approach, this paper explores organizational members’ identities within social enterprises. A case study about ReTuna, a second-hand shopping center, and a social enterprise that is recognized worldwide, helps us to do this. The literature review provided us with insights into the identification process and offered us two generic identities within social enterprises: a utilitarian identity, based on a market-oriented logic and a normative identity, based on social and welfare missions. However, with our empirical study, we realized that the identification process is more complex than expected. Our findings show that cultural background and an individual’s financial stability are critical factors determining one’s identity. With this research, we detected four different identities at our site, a second-hand mall: the entrepreneurs, the companions, the opportunists, and the romantics.

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