Effects of a Partnership Between Social Enterprises and Multinational Corporations -Social Mission and Legitimacy

by Jakob Christian Ipland

Institution: Roskilde University
Year: 2015
Keywords: Social Enterprise; multinational corporation; Legitimacy; Corporate Citizenship
Record ID: 1119232
Full text PDF: http://rudar.ruc.dk/handle/1800/22302


Summary Social enterprises around the world cooperate with corporations across industries and the private sector is interested in this type of relationship. We live in a globalized world where corporations work across borders, grow bigger and at times outperform nation-states in economic and social power. This type of corporation is called a multinational corporation (MNC) and have increasingly taken political and social responsibilities working together with NGO´s, nonprofits and social enterprises. In this project, I have investigated how the relationship between a MNC and a social enterprise affect the social enterprise and its social mission and how the MNC´s interests and view of corporate citizenship have an influence. I have done this by conducting a single case study of the relationship between IKEA and Place de Bleu. I used the theory of corporate citizenship to analyze IKEA´s view on social responsibilities and further how this affected PDB. Furthermore, I used the Social Return on Investment tool to guide my analysis of PDB and the affect the relationship had on them and their social mission looking from strategic legitimacy and the affect it had on the immigrant woman of Place de Bleu, their social mission. Eventually I used `The Social Enterprise Spectrum´ to see if Place de Bleu had moved away from their social mission toward commercialization. I found that MNCs can affect a social enterprise in many ways both negative and positive depending on the organizational strength of the social enterprise and the flexibility in the processes of the MNC. In a paid relationship, there will be a positive effect on the economic stability of the social enterprise and through here an indirect positive effect to its social mission. That said, because of size differences and bureaucratic processes, managing a relationship with a MNC can be time consuming for the social enterprise, stealing staff time and focus away from the social mission towards administration and even present a danger to their overall existence. When a MNC see their social responsibility from the equivalent view of corporate citizenship their approach to a partnership becomes instrumental and strategic, focused on how best to gain more legitimacy in the relationship from their stakeholders. In this process, the legitimacy of the social enterprise becomes a currency, which the social enterprise can use to exchange for revenue or resources. Finally, I found that there was no change to the social enterprises equilibrium between social mission and commercialization.