Our Research

Our research comprises current research projects of SIERC associates that align with the ethos of the Centre. We summarise here some of this ongoing research.

Case Studies in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The aim of this project is to conduct a series of case studies that will contribute to increased awareness and advancement of social entrepreneurship and innovation in New Zealand and internationally. The intention will be to understand the rich entrepreneurial experience and socially innovative actions of those involved in each of the cases, and to assist their further development, if possible, via the discussion, feedback and write-up process of the case. Since it is intended that the project will comprise a series of individual cases (number depending on researcher (team) time and funding), the intention is to create a set of hypotheses to grasp the broader context of success of social entrepreneurship and generate a deeper understanding of social innovation.

Inaugural Case:

We were delighted to work with the Wellington Zoo, for our first case. Our first co-authored academic paper on our Zoo case is:
de Bruin, A., Fabrizi, S., Lee, L., Lippert, S. (2010) Not for loss: Insights on building a community asset' Presented at the 7th Annual Satter Conference of Social Entrepreneurs, New York, November 3 – 5. Available as Massey University, College of Business Research Paper No. 28, Downloadable in SSRN at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1934278

Hooks, J. (2012). Entrepreneurial Not-for-profits and accountability, NZ Journal of Applied Business Research, Vol. 10(2), pp. 17-36.
This paper evaluates the annual reporting of Wellington Zoo within a context of accountability of an entity with public funding. The need to be accountable is often overlooked when entrepreneurship is the guiding influence on strategy and development. A model for best practice social responsibility and environmental reporting is posited

Environmental behaviour in the small firm context

Team: Drs Sue Cassells & Kate Lewis

This project examines what factors influence environmental behaviours and decision making processes in the small firm context. A particular focus is investigating the complex inter-relationship between attitude and action.

Social Finance

Team: Dr Sasha Molchanov and Dr Jeffrey Stangl

Our current research examines New Zealand’s social finance market. Social finance describes the supply and management of financial resources employed by social enterprises to derive outcomes generating both community benefit and economic return. The international importance of social finance has seen substantial growth given reduced government provision of social services and increasing environmental pressures. Comparative international studies already establish a critical need for developing social finance markets. However, research has yet to examine the development and dimensions of New Zealand’s social finance market. Our initial research thus investigates three key research questions: What is the value of social finance in New Zealand? What are the drivers of, contributors to, demanders of, and impediments to New Zealand’s social finance market? Lastly, what can we comparatively learn from other countries in developing an effective local social finance market? Addressing these questions seeks to establish a robust framework for New Zealand’s social finance market, linking social financiers, social enterprises, and government decision makers.

The Significance of Symbolic and Social Capital (Building Identity Capital)

Team: Professor Anne de Bruin, Drs Matt Roskruge, Loren Stangl, Suzanne Grant and Christine Read

Awards and prizes or similar representations of symbolic capital are extremely prevalent in today’s world. However, there is very little research on the impact on the identity and success of individuals and organisations that receive such awards and acquire this form of capital. This interdisciplinary research project seeks to advance theory in economics, and other sub-areas such as entrepreneurship, by understanding the interface between two topics: Identity economics and symbolic capital. We will also look at how symbolic capital contributes to non-profit organisations and individuals in this sector.
The project will also investigate: How do young people mobilise social capital to build their identity?   

Women and Social Entrepreneurship Project

Team: Professor Anne de Bruin, Bruce Borquist, Drs Loren Stangl, Suzanne Grant, Kate Lewis

This project is building cumulative knowledge in women’s social enterprise with a spotlight on the gendered aspects of social entrepreneurial ecosytems. It aims to create a knowledge hub for international collaboration among researchers and practice organisations that support women’s empowerment through social enterprise (includes environmentally oriented organisations) and social innovation. Current research is examining the role of women in New Zealand’s evolving social entrepreneurial ecosystem and regional social innovation ecosystems. Case studies on women’s social ventures have also already been conducted in the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

A Research Agenda for Social Entrepreneurship – Book Project.

Published by Edward Elgar, the book will be part of a new programme of books (Elgar Research Agendas) that aim to rethink the traditional research monograph and the value they add to academic debate. Designed to be visionary and provocative, these books outline the potential routes for further development of research on specific topics. Professor Anne de Bruin will co-edit the book with Simon Teasdale, Professor of Public Policy and Organisations and Social Innovation Change Leader at Glasgow Caledonian University. The book will be published in 2019.

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