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Organizing For Commons-Enabling Decision-Making Under Conflicting Institutional Logics In Social Entrepreneurship

C. Rossignoli, F. Ricciardi, Sabrina Bonomi
Published 2018 · Business

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Social entrepreneurship develops innovative opportunities and solutions aimed to (re)generate the common good. This emerging organizational form poses unprecedented challenges to group decision and negotiation studies. This article leverages conceptual tools from the literature on the commons and institutional logics as it explores the organizational conditions of social entrepreneurship that trigger commons-enabling decision-making in its organizational field. Through an inductive analysis of a longitudinal case, this study proposes a model that highlights the critical role of the bridging organization that can be introduced by the social entrepreneur in a previously fragmented organizational field. This bridging organization is in the condition to develop an innovative co-creation logic that can serve as a common ground to enable collaboration between actors from diverse and even conflicting institutional logics. The proposed model suggests that a practice-driven path to the construction of such a common ground for decision-making is more effective than a disclosure-driven path, which is based on classical conflict analysis techniques. The ICT-enabled activity system developed by the social entrepreneur injects transparency and traceability into a previously opaque field, thus creating the conditions for distributed, flexible, and complementary sense- and decision-making processes that develop and protect the commons.
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