Participatory Governance in Social Enterprise

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This paper emphasizes the importance of participative governance in the study of social enterprise. Furthermore, it argues that social enterprise must be analyzed through a multi-dimensional perspective. The EMES approach is based on three dimensions emphasizing the social, economic, and political dimension, while many Anglo-American definitions tend to use a one-dimensional spectrum framework. The latter often see social enterprise as a simple phenomenon that can be arranged along a continuum, ranging from economic to social, where more of one means less of the other. However, this fails to acknowledge the multi-disciplinary nature of social enterprise. Scholars inspired by the EMES approach should devote greater attention to exploring the interactive and interrelated nature of the three dimensions of social enterprise, especially the governance dimension.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1742-1759
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

This paper is a revised version of a paper presented at the ARNOVA Conference, Denver Colorado, 19–23 November, 2014. That paper, in turn, was a substantially revised version of a paper by the lead author published in the Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity, JEOD, (2013, V. 2: 48–60) on “The Role of Participatory Governance in the EMES Approach to Social Enterprise.”


  • CSR
  • Governance
  • Multidimensional
  • Participatory democracy
  • Social enterprise

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