Mission accomplished? An empirical research on the link between Social Co-operative Enterprises’ strategic orientation and performance
Dr. Niki Glaveli1 and Dr. Konstantinos Geormas2
1 Academic Staff, Division of Business Administration, Department of Economics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, email@example.com
2 Head, State Aid Unit, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Social Co-operative Enterprise (SCE) is a relative new type institution of the third sector which despite its nonprofit character, is treated as a fully entrepreneurial entity. SCEs are called to integrate business principles into their functioning and adopt entrepreneurial behaviors in the provision of social goods and/or services. However, only a handful of researchers have so far investigated this type of behavior in social enterprises. This paper seeks to contribute to a further understanding of the strategic aspect of SCEs’ entrepreneurial behavior and expand the current knowledge on the link between SCEs’ strategic orientation, vision and performance. Using data from Greek SCEs, called KOINSEPs, we examined the mediating roles of commercial and social effectiveness (as well as direct associations) with regard to strategic orientation (SO) effects on profitability. More precisely, based on an extensive literature review, SO is conceptualized as a three dimensional construct consisting of the product, customer and market/competitor aspects. The findings designate that the customer orientation dimension, defined as an organization’s commitment to understand and satisfy customer/users preferences, plays the most vital role in enhancing SCEs effectiveness and subsequently profitability. Further, the development of a clear and shared (among the SCE members) vision has positive direct associations with SCEs performance (social effectiveness and profitability). We conclude with a discussion of directions for future research and implications for theory and practice.