A cross country investigation of social enterprise innovation: a multilevel modelling approach

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Monroe-White, Thema K.
Cozzens, Susan E.
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This dissertation presents a multilevel model of national-level factors and their impact on the organizational-level characteristics of social enterprises and their innovations. This study builds on the foundations of two theoretical frameworks: the national systems of innovation, which recognizes economic competitiveness to be a product of several interrelated institutions (e.g. financial, educational, cultural, historical) and where organizational-level innovation drives country level competitiveness; and the comparative social enterprise framework, which contends that national-level institutions (e.g., economic competitiveness, models of civil society) drive the size and shape of the social enterprise sector of a country. Data for this study were collected from multiple secondary global datasets representing 54 countries across seven world regions. Research questions and hypotheses are examined using ordinal and logistic hierarchical generalized linear modeling, two analytical techniques capable of explaining variation at one level (i.e., organizations) as a consequence of factors at another level of analysis (i.e., countries) for non-normally distributed dependent variables. Findings indicate that economic competitiveness, welfare spending, culture and quality of life significantly impact the odds of a business being a social enterprise. Fewer significant relationships were found social enterprise innovations. Conclusions and policy implications are discussed in light of data limitations and the current state of the field.
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