Social Entrepreneurship: The dynamics of social and financial objectives

Majbrit Littau

Student thesis: Master thesis


The field of social entrepreneurship is vastly discussed by multiple researchers, because of its complex nature. Within this phenomenon, the social entrepreneur can either be operating with a social objective, a single objective, or both social and financial objectives, dual objectives. When operating with dual objective, this can be seen as challenging strategy because of the difficulties of balancing these two objectives. The aim of this study is to get a larger understand the dynamics of social and financial objectives in social entrepreneurship. This has then been explored by looking at how the dual objectives and the interrelation of these are viewed by different stakeholders, found on basis of a case example. The case example is a collaboration in the making between two parties; a social entrepreneur, Uffe Helsing Andersen, and a company interested in working with the social entrepreneur, Odense Marcipan. Their mutual objective of the possible cooperation is to be able to operate with dual objectives. From the interview with Odense Marcipan, the next group of stakeholders is found, being potential end-consumers of a product with dual objectives. The empirical data have been collected by using in-depth interviews, and theoretical constructs have been found in order to contradict, support or explain the empirical findings. The analysis is thus approached in an inductive manner. The study discuss two ways of operating with dual objectives, when a company support an external social cause by donating money to it, and when a company create social change by integrating the social objective in the value chain. The first can be perceived both negatively and positively, and the latter is more positively viewed. The company therefore need to be aware of how their stakeholders view them in order to be successful. This depends on how they communicate their social objectives, and how they balance the social and economic value being created. Furthermore, if the stakeholders view then company as exploiting the social objective, hence, more economic value being created compared to the perceived social value, then this will have damaging consequences.

EducationsCand.merc.smc Strategic Market Creation, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages139