Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Business Administration

Advisor's Name

Sumit Kundu

Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Advisor's Name

Alan Carsrud

Advisor's Name

Karen Paul

Advisor's Name

Mary Ann Von Glinow

Advisor's Name

Kenneth Lipartito

Keywords

social venture, social enterprise, social entrepreneurship, resource based view, social value, earned income, social innovation, partnerships, alliances, competitive advantage

Date of Defense

6-18-2010

Abstract

This dissertation is one of the earliest to systematically apply and empirically test the resource-based view (RBV) in the context of nascent social ventures in a large scale study. Social ventures are entrepreneurial ventures organized as nonprofit, for-profit, or hybrid organizations whose primary purpose is to address unmet social needs and create social value. Nascent social ventures face resource gaps and engage in partnerships or alliances as one means to access external resources. These partnerships with different sectors facilitate social venture innovative and earned income strategies, and assist in the development of adequate heterogeneous resource conditions that impact competitive advantage. Competitive advantage in the context of nascent social ventures is achieved through the creation of value and the achievement of venture development activities and launching. The relationships between partnerships, heterogeneous resource conditions, strategies, and competitive advantage are analyzed in the context of nascent social ventures that participated in business plan competitions. A content analysis of 179 social venture business plans and an exploratory follow-up survey of 72 of these ventures are used to analyze these relationships using regression, ANOVA, correlations, t-tests, and non-parametric statistics.

The findings suggest a significant positive relationship between competitive advantage and partnership diversity, heterogeneous resource conditions, social innovation, and earned income. Social capital is the type of resource most significantly related to competitive advantage. Founder previous start-up experience, client location, and business plan completeness are also found to be significant in the relationship between partnership diversity and competitive advantage. Finally the findings suggest that hybrid social ventures create a greater competitive advantage than nonprofit or for-profit social ventures. Consequently, this dissertation not only provides academics further insight into the factors that impact nascent social value creation, venture development, and ability to launch, but also offers practitioners guidance on how best to organize certain processes to create a competitive advantage. As a result more insight is gained into the nascent social venture creation process and how these ventures can have a greater impact on society.

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