Succeeding Against the Odds: Examining How Entrepreneurial Bricolage Fosters the Scaling of Social Impact Through Innovative Work Behaviour in the Context of Social
Entrepreneurship Renée E.L. de Wit
Business Administration: Strategy University of Amsterdam Supervisor: Kayleigh de Bruijn EBEC approval number: 20210417020451
Student number: 11272473 25/06/2021
Word count: 15,736
Statement of originality
This document is written by Student Renée E. L. de Wit who declares to take full
responsibility for the contents of this document. I declare that the text and the work presented in this document are original and that no sources other than those mentioned in the text and its references have been used in creating it. The Faculty of Economics and Business is
responsible solely for the supervision of completion of the work, not for the contents.
Throughout writing this thesis I have received a great deal of support and assistance. I would like to thank my friends, Francisca Carvalho, Erin Birkett, and Martina Havlenová, who have made the process enjoyable and continually offered a helping hand. Without them, the
culmination of my master’s degree would not have been as memorable. Additionally, I would like to thank my supervisor, Kayleigh de Bruijn, for her guidance.
Social entrepreneurs aim to solve social or environmental causes with innovative solutions.
The scaling of their impact is imperative to reach their challenging goals and entrepreneurial bricolage is proposed as a useful behaviour to do so. The purpose of this study is to
understand the relationship between entrepreneurial bricolage and the scaling of social impact through the mediation effect of innovative work behaviour for social entrepreneurs. A
research model was developed to test four hypotheses, by using a self-report survey which was distributed among social entrepreneurs. The final sample included 264 successfully completed surveys. Several control variables were included in the study. The main finding includes empirical evidence that innovative work behaviour mediates the relationship between entrepreneurial bricolage and the scaling of social impact. However, the results are potentially limited by the high correlation between entrepreneurial bricolage and IWB. The study
contributes to advancing the research field of social entrepreneurship, by furthering the understanding of how solutions can be scaled in order to solve global issues. Additionally, the importance of creative and innovative use of resources in social enterprises is highlighted, as it can allow social enterprises to reach their ambitious goals.
Keywords: social entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial bricolage, innovative work behaviour, scaling of social impact
Table of contents:
1. Introduction _____________________________________________________________________________________ 7 2. Literature review ______________________________________________________________________________ 10 2.1 Social entrepreneurship ______________________________________________________________________ 10 2.2 Scaling of social impact _______________________________________________________________________ 12
2.2.1 Social impact ___________________________________________________________________________________________ 13
2.2.2 Scaling __________________________________________________________________________________________________ 14 2.3 The theory of entrepreneurial bricolage __________________________________________________ 15
2.3.1 Three critical elements of entrepreneurial bricolage _______________________________________________ 16 2.4 Innovative work behaviour __________________________________________________________________ 18 3. Theoretical framework _______________________________________________________________________ 19 3.1 Entrepreneurial bricolage & The scaling of social impact ______________________________ 20 3.2 Entrepreneurial bricolage & Innovative work behaviour ______________________________ 22 3.3 Innovative work behaviour & the scaling of social impact _____________________________ 24 3.4 The mediating role of innovative work behaviour _______________________________________ 26 4. Methodology ____________________________________________________________________________________ 28 4.1 Research design _______________________________________________________________________________ 28 4.2 Sample ___________________________________________________________________________________________ 28 4.3 Measurements _________________________________________________________________________________ 30
4.3.1 Entrepreneurial bricolage ____________________________________________________________________________ 30
4.3.2 Innovative work behaviour ___________________________________________________________________________ 31
4.3.3 Scaling of social impact _______________________________________________________________________________ 31 4.4 Control variables ______________________________________________________________________________ 31
4.4.1 Firm size _______________________________________________________________________________________________ 32
4.4.2 Firm age ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 32
4.4.3 Continent (EU vs USA) ________________________________________________________________________________ 32
4.4.4 Enterprise type (product vs service) ________________________________________________________________ 33
4.4.5 Goal (social vs environmental) _______________________________________________________________________ 33
4.4.6 Social desirability ______________________________________________________________________________________ 34 4.5 Econometric analysis _________________________________________________________________________ 35 5 Analysis and Results ___________________________________________________________________________ 35 5.1 Assumptions and Descriptives ______________________________________________________________ 35 5.2 Correlations and multicollinearity _________________________________________________________ 37 5.3 Hierarchical regression ______________________________________________________________________ 40 5.4 PROCESS model 4 ______________________________________________________________________________ 41 6. Conclusion & discussion ______________________________________________________________________ 44 6.1 Findings _________________________________________________________________________________________ 44
6.2 Contributions __________________________________________________________________________________ 46 6.3 Limitations and future research suggestions _____________________________________________ 47 6.4 Conclusion ______________________________________________________________________________________ 49 References _________________________________________________________________________________________ 50 Appendix A. ________________________________________________________________________________________ 59 Appendix B. ________________________________________________________________________________________ 68
“Chemicals are not for pussies” (About yoni, 2021). The slogan employed by a new menstruation product company is definitely eye-catching. The brand is Yoni, a fast-growing Dutch business that sells menstruation products free from chemicals. They also fight the taboo around menstruation, aim to be transparent about the ingredients in their products, and work with local initiatives to distribute free menstruation supplies to women in need. The start-up quickly obtained a 5% market share in Dutch menstruation products and continues to grow (Heijkants, 2021).
Yoni is an excellent example of entrepreneurs rising above the existing bureaucratic systems, by finding creative ways to solve their issues. Instead of lobbying for more
transparency in ingredient lists of menstruation products or convincing companies to use alternative materials, the founders of Yoni launched their own business to do it themselves.
These types of entrepreneurs go beyond checking boxes on corporate social responsibility, by integrating a social or environmental cause into their business (Adro & Fernandes, 2021).
This is social entrepreneurship, which has been described by Zahra, Gedajlovic, Neubaum, and Shulman (2009) as “Activities and processes undertaken to discover, determine and exploit opportunities in a way to generate social value with the creation of new organisations or in managing existing organisations with innovating ways” (p.1). It is a substantial part of today’s economy and offers significant value to society (Adro & Fernandes, 2021; Zahra et al., 2009).
Yoni is just one of the many social enterprises that are making a real change. Social entrepreneurs have a social mission as their end goal, which can be characterized by creating an ambitious level of value. The extent to which they are succeeding in their goals, can be indicated by the impact they create (Perrini, Vurro, & Costanzo, 2010). As social
entrepreneurs aim to achieve significant impact, often including a global change, their impact has to be large (Fisac-Garcia, Acevedo-Ruiz, Moreno-Romero, & Kreiner, 2013). The core of reaching their ambitions is the scaling of their social impact.
In other words, accomplishing the targets set by social entrepreneurs is a matter of scaling their social impact. For Yoni to reach its visionary goals of providing women with chemical-free products and lifting the taboo around menstruation, they have to continue to increase their efforts. Unsurprisingly, the scaling of social impact has become a critical measure of the success of social entrepreneurs in academic literature (Cannatelli, 2017;
Perrini et al., 2010). Focusing on this phenomenon can be considered as an effective solution-
oriented process by which social entrepreneurs can achieve further efficiency (Bradach, 2010).
However, by what means social entrepreneurs can successfully scale their impact has only recently become a subject of study. A study by Bacq, Ofstein, Kickul, and Gundry (2015) attempted to take the first step in closing this literature gap. They looked into the concept of entrepreneurial bricolage. Bricolage in social entrepreneurship can be defined as
“making do with any resources at hand, to provide innovative solutions for social needs that traditional organisations fail to address in an adequate way” (Janssen, Fayolle, & Wuillaume, 2018, p.1). They found a significant positive relationship between entrepreneurial bricolage and the scaling of social impact, without finding any explanations as to how.
Exploring this relationship further is very relevant, as entrepreneurial bricolage is a tool that can create promising opportunities in resource-constrained environments (Baker &
Nelson, 2005; Senyard, Baker, Steffens, & Davidsson, 2014). Social entrepreneurship is notorious for such environments, as it is often challenging to obtain resources due to its nature. To illustrate, a business plan like Yoni’s, with its social goal preceding its profit goal, has a much harder time securing funding compared to a profit-driven business. While we know that the creative behaviour of bricolage can help Yoni realise greater social impact by working around the lack of resources such as funding, the question of ‘how’ remains.
Accordingly, research also calls for further development on understanding the concept of bricolage within social entrepreneurship (Adro & Fernandes, 2021; Bacq et al., 2015).
Another behavioural concept shows promising potential in explaining the positive relationship between bricolage and the scaling of social impact; namely innovative work behaviour (Bacq et al., 2015). Innovative work behaviour (IWB) has been described by Farr and Ford (1990) as “An individual’s behaviour that aims to achieve the initiation and
intentional introduction of new and useful ideas, processes, products or procedures” (De Jong
& Den Hartog, 2010, p. 24). It is different from “innovation”, as IWB refers to the
behavioural characteristic of the social entrepreneurs in the firm while “innovation” refers to the output of the firm or the innovativeness of a product (Shin, 2018; De Jong & Den Hartog, 2010). IWB is said to be at the core of entrepreneurial bricolage (e.g., Cai, Ying, & Liu, 2019;
Senyard et al., 2014). On top of that, a study by Shin (2018), found a positive direct and indirect effect of IWB, on the social performance of social enterprises. It seems that IWB might be the engine between entrepreneurial bricolage and the scaling of social impact. In other words, IWB might explain how bricolage behaviour can allow social enterprises like Yoni to scale their social impacts. Researching IWB as a potential mediator will further our
understanding hereof. Therefore, this thesis will address the following research question:
What is the effect of entrepreneurial bricolage behaviour on the scaling of social impact, and is this relationship explained by innovative work behaviour?
As described above, the scaling of social impact is challenging, as social entrepreneurs often find themselves in resource-constrained environments. The creative use of existing resources, referred to as entrepreneurial bricolage unsurprisingly allows a way around this.
While it is an important and promising tool for social entrepreneurs, the way it is established remains unknown. Entrepreneurial bricolage is not a tool that you decide to turn on, but behaviour that occurs over time (Smith & Stevens, 2010). Opening the black box between entrepreneurial bricolage and the scaling of social impact is therefore an important
contribution to the literature. This is needed to understand behaviour that helps social
entrepreneurs in an environment that is working against them. This study will use quantitative analysis to gain a better understanding of this relationship. An additional benefit of this study includes advancing the validity and reliability of the social entrepreneurship research field, seeing that currently, there is a great lack of empirical testing (Adro & Fernandes, 2021).
Additionally, there is also a great need for quantitative research into the determinants of the successful achievement of social impact (Bacq et al., 2015; Short, Moss, & Lumpkin, 2009).
Besides the contributions to the literature on social entrepreneurship, this research will contribute to practice and benefit society in the following ways. An improved grasp on how social entrepreneurs can scale their efforts will increase the positive influence they have on some of the most demanding challenges of our society (Bacq et al., 2015). Literature has pointed out the urgency of understanding how to maximise the impact of effective social value creation (Cannatelli, 2017; Dees, 1998; Mair & Marti, 2006). More specifically, finding behaviours that explain the scaling of social impact can promote higher efficiency in the social sector, which is relevant for social entrepreneurs and government institutions. Social entrepreneurs need scalable solutions, as global issues, such as deforestation or unfair working conditions, exist across different populations (Cannatelli, 2017). This study will hopefully inspire social entrepreneurs to have confidence in dealing with their resource limitations and succeeding in navigating their highly dynamic and uncertain business
environments. In the current socio-economic landscape characterised by limited resources and strong competition, social entrepreneurs need creative strategies to survive.
This study is structured as follows - first, an overview of relevant literature will be described in which the research gap is explained. Second, the theoretical framework with the formed hypothesis. Third, the methodology chapter, which will outline the research design, sample, measurements and control variables. Fourth, the analysis of the data will be given, and finally, the findings will be discussed together with limitations and suggestions for future research.
2. Literature review
This chapter will give an overview of relevant academic literature on the topics of this study. First, a short overview of the field of social entrepreneurship will be provided in which social entrepreneurship is compared to classic entrepreneurship. Second, relevant academic findings will be discussed on the scaling of social impact, entrepreneurial bricolage, and IWB.
2.1 Social entrepreneurship
The practice of social entrepreneurship became popular by the end of the 1990s.
especially in Anglo-Saxon cultures. This new form of entrepreneurship flourished in the private, public and non-profit sectors (Saadaoui & Belgaroui, 2014). Since the start, the practice has continued to gain popularity because of its creative solutions to complex issues.
While the academic field of social entrepreneurship is growing each year, it still lacks a clear paradigm (Robinson, Mair & Hockerts, 2009). The field seems to be stagnating in a phase of emergence, where its understanding continues to be enacted differently by different authors (Zahra et al., 2008; Mair & Marti, 2006). This section will attempt to clarify the concept.
Social entrepreneurship originates from Dees (1998), who was the first to consider social entrepreneurship as a distinct type of business venture. He adopted Schumpeter's idea of innovation and change within his definition of social entrepreneurs (Peredo & McLean, 2006); in principle, social entrepreneurship serves to solve societal needs not solved by the state or the market (Thompson, 2002). A goal is ingrained in the business model through a strong need for contributing to a cause. Johnson (2000) defines social entrepreneurship as,
“An entrepreneurial activity with a social orientation and intention” (p.1), while Mair and Marti (2006) define it as, “A process embedding an innovative and combined use of resources to explore and exploit opportunities that target social change by satisfying the basic human needs in a bearable way” (p.27).
This study will understand social entrepreneurship as described by Zahra et al. (2006):
“Activities and processes undertaken to discover, determine and exploit opportunities in a
way to generate social value with the creation of new organisations or in managing existing organisations with innovating ways” (p.1). This definition clearly includes the dual focus on economic goals – exploiting opportunities – and societal challenges – generating social value.
Authors agree on the importance of this dual focus (e.g., Van Lunenburg, Geuijen, & Meijer, 2020; Peredo & Mclean, 2006; Zahra et al., 2009). Hence, an essential criterion of social entrepreneurship is to understand this duality within the concept of creating both social and economic value (Saebi, Foss, & Linder, 2019). As Peredo and McLean (2006) describe, there is no fixed boundary as to when creating value for a social cause can be considered as social entrepreneurship and when it cannot; however, the commitment to creating social value is what sets it apart from other common forms of entrepreneurship.
Social entrepreneurship emerged from the academic field of classic entrepreneurship but over time, clear differences between the two became obvious (Saadaoui & Belgaroui, 2014). Both types of entrepreneurs are individuals who start a (small) business (Peredo &
McLean, 2006), however, a clear distinction between the two lies in the goal of the enterprise.
For social entrepreneurs, a social mission will always be central to the enterprise. Classic entrepreneurs, while possibly conscious of their social and environmental impact, will never treat it as the main priority (Saadaoui & Belgaroui, 2014). The creation of economic value is central to classic entrepreneurs, with the aim of profit maximisation in the forefront. Classic economic assumptions see firms' existence as a way to maximise profits (Husted & Salazar, 2006). This view believes social welfare is created when all firms maximise their total market value. In contrast, social entrepreneurs relate more to the emerging field of social welfare maximisation, in which the goal of a firm is to reach a state by which resources are allocated in a fair manner (Jensen, 2001). Yet, this distinction is a simplified version of reality.
Lankowski and Smith (2018) bring to attention their own conceptualisation of what the purpose of any firm is. They argue that there is a spectrum of different purpose objectives which a firm can follow, based on the firm's relationship between profit and social welfare.
The authors provide objective functions ranging from social welfare not being a part of the firm's objective whatsoever, to it being the sole end objective. Social entrepreneurs would be situated towards the end of this scale, while classic entrepreneurship would be found at the start.
Furthermore, another important distinction between the two types of entrepreneurs includes the discovery of opportunities. An opportunity for a classic entrepreneur involves a dissatisfaction in the market by which there is potential to create profit. As described by Kirzner (1973), entrepreneurs' alertness allows them to discover opportunities by which they
seek to profit; however, an opportunity for a social entrepreneur comes from a social need that is not being solved by the market. Social entrepreneurs also identify opportunities, but they create social wealth while doing so (Nicholls, 2008). They work to solve social issues which have been considered unsolvable via existing structures (Zahra et al., 2009).
Finally, the personal characteristics of a social entrepreneur are also slightly different from those of a classic entrepreneur. Both types are energetic individuals who have a risk- taking and innovative nature (CCSE, 2001). Nonetheless, their motivations and beliefs are different. Social entrepreneurs are often characterised as having a long-term vision and believing in the collective experience. They take risks, as they believe in solving social problems outside of the bureaucratic systems (Lumpkin, Steier, & Wright, 2011). A short- term perspective more often characterises classic entrepreneurs, who commonly focus on individual competences (Saadaoui & Belgaroui, 2014).
To conclude, many authors have attempted to give a clear definition of social entrepreneurship - literature highlights the importance of the dual focus on economic and social value creation as the essential component (e.g., Peredo & Mclean, 2006; Van Lunenburg et al., 2020; Zahra et al., 2009). Furthermore, classic entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs are distinctive in opportunity discovery processes, their goals, and personal characteristics. For social entrepreneurs, the social value created is the fundamental goal of a social entrepreneur, as it indicates their success (Lumpkin et al., 2011; Kirzner, 1973).
Nonetheless, measuring this success is rather complex compared to measuring the success of classic entrepreneurship. However, looking at the scaling of social impact has been proposed as an accurate measure of performance for social entrepreneurs (Bacq et al., 2015; Islam, 2020).
2.2 Scaling of social impact
Literature proposes scaling of social impact as an appropriate measure of firm value for social entrepreneurs (Perrini et al., 2010). Ambiguity around the definition of scaling social impact exists; however, a recent paper by Islam (2020) provides an integrative definition based on social enterprise literature: “Scaling social impact is an ongoing process of increasing the magnitude of both quantitative and qualitative positive changes in society by addressing pressing social problems at individual and/or systematic levels through one or more scaling paths” (p.2).
Social impact is considered suitable to assess the performance of a social enterprise, since it indicates the extent to which the social enterprise is achieving its social goal through its services (Perrini et al., 2010). In other words, the scaling of social impact can be seen as the key variable for social enterprises to assess their performance. Traditionally, firm
performance is measured by the firm’s efficiency and effectiveness (Neely, Gregory, & Platts, 1995). The most popular account-based measurement to assess the performance of a firm includes return on assets, return on equity, and profit margins (Al-Matari, Al-Swidi, & Fadzil, 2014). However, these measures do not take into account the business objectives of social entrepreneurs – a social cause – or consider the resource-constrained environment in which social enterprises are situated. Nevertheless, the scaling of social impact does, as it
demonstrates the business impact social entrepreneurs have on society (Bacq et al., 2015;
Islam, 2020). Without the scaling of their social impact, social entrepreneurs have a low impact on their social cause and cannot meet their visionary goals.
Therefore, scaling the impact remains one of the crucial topics within social entrepreneurship research (Cannatelli, 2017). Moreover, there are two distinctive concepts that make up the scaling of social impact: social impact and scaling.
2.2.1 Social impact
Social impact was defined by Vanclay (2003) as: “Changes to one or more of the following aspects in human lives: 1) people’s way of life, 2) their culture, 3) their community, 4) their political systems, 5) their environment, 6) their health and wellbeing, 7) their personal and property rights, and 8) their fears and aspirations” (p.8). Social impact can be explained through two dimensions: the breadth and the depth of the impact. The breadth of the impact refers to how many people are reached by the initiative (Fisac-Garcia et al., 2013). This can be the geographical expansion, or the number of people being impacted: the quantitative growth of the impact (Bacq et al., 2015). Depth, on the other hand, refers to the qualitative improvements of the social impact. It is how much social value an action generates for each person (Fisac-Garcia et al., 2013).
Using social impact as a measurement has been a contested practice in literature, as it can result in friction among different stakeholders within social enterprises (Mair & Marti, 2006; Molecke & Pinkse, 2017). At the root of this problem is the fact that there is no clear definition of social impact available in existing literature (Ebrahim & Rangan, 2014).
Additionally, social entrepreneurs tend to criticise measurements of their social impact, by conceptualising it as immeasurable. The rich and experiential information that social
entrepreneurs have, are often too intangible and context-specific to translate into measurements of social impact (Molecke & Pinkse, 2017; Simon, 1957).
Additionally, social entrepreneurs tend to disagree with the methodologies employed to describe the causal chain of their impact. Since social enterprises function in an ecosystem with many different actors, these impacts are difficult to measure precisely and difficult to assign to one party. Attributing a certain impact to one actor is thus very challenging (Roche, 199; Molecke & Pinkse, 2017). In spite of this, the measuring of social impact remains the most tested and accepted measure of firm performance for social entrepreneurs (e.g., Bacq et al., 2015; Fisac-Garcia et al., 2013; Molecke & Pinkse, 2017).
Social enterprises start small, but possess the potential to have a considerable impact.
When a social entrepreneur finds innovative solutions to a problem that prove to be effective, the next step is to scale the solution to diverse contexts. Without the second step, the impact of the solution will be poor (Cannatelli, 2016; Fisac-Garcia et al., 2013). The scaling of social impact is the tool for social entrepreneurs to accomplish their goals by reaching more of their target beneficiaries (Koch, Coppock, Guerra, & Bruno, 2004). Thus, as the impact of social enterprises can be very influential and impactful, it is imperative to understand how, why and under what conditions enterprises are able to scale.
Scaling in social entrepreneurship can be understood as increasing the impact of a social enterprise on their social or environmental cause (Dees, 2008). Research on scaling can mainly be found in strategic management literature. Scaling is not an objective of an
enterprise but a strategy to achieve further impact (Van Lunenburg et al., 2020). Similarly, to social impact, a distinction can be made in scaling between scaling-up and scaling-out.
Scaling out refers to an organisation affecting more people and expanding its geographical area. Scaling up refers to the identification of opportunities in order to introduce an innovative action (Van Lunenburg et al., 2020).
There is no straightforward answer on how to scale an initiative. Scaling involves a complex process with several dynamic interactions between the environment, actors, and strategies (Van Lunenburg et al., 2020). There is one model found in literature that looks at the drivers of scaling social impact. Although the model still lacks theoretical and empirical grounds, it is proposed as a promising and effective tool to look at the scaling of social impact. The SCALERS model consists of seven drivers - staffing, communicating, alliance-
building, lobbying, earnings-generation, replicating, and stimulating market forces (Cannatelli, 2016).
Previous research addressing scaling acknowledges the influence of the social entrepreneurs’ characteristics on scaling. Scheuerle and Schmitz (2016) found two crucial characteristics for scaling: the social entrepreneur’s willingness and ability to scale.
Furthermore, the formal and informal rules in the social enterprise space, often set by governments, also influence the scaling of opportunities. When there is space for
experimentation, this positively influences the scaling of initiatives. The institutional structure of the operating environment of the firm could also include institutional support. Support can come in many different forms and also through other actors, including non-profits. Support could, expectedly, help the scaling.
To conclude, the scaling of social impact is an accepted measure of firm performance for social enterprises (Islam, 2020). The extent to which a social enterprise scales its social impact indicates its success in terms of succeeding in its ambitious goals. Social entrepreneurs are situated in resource-constrained environments, which makes it more difficult for them to scale their operations compared to classic entrepreneurs (Baker & Nelson, 2005). Therefore, it is even more important to identify how social entrepreneurs can do so. As mentioned,
entrepreneurial bricolage has been proposed as a useful behaviour for social entrepreneurs to help scale their social impact.
2.3 The theory of entrepreneurial bricolage
Bricolage was first introduced by Levi-Straus (1967) and refers to a behavioural theory in which firms find ways to combine resources that are already part of their firm.The theory contradicts most entrepreneurial research in which the focus is often placed on finding useful resources, instead of using what is already accessible (Aldrich, 1999; Bhidé &
Stevenson, 1999). The following section will describe what entrepreneurial bricolage entails in more detail and list its three critical elements.
Bricolage theory adopts a social-constructionist view of the organisational
environment and is part of the resource-based view of the firm (Baker & Nelson, 2005). In other words, the theory of bricolage assumes the environment of the firm to be socially constructed and the firm to have resources that can potentially support a competitive
advantage. Bricolage behaviour includes active behaviour in which the entrepreneur enacts its resource constrained environment; the entrepreneur does not accept the limitations of the
environment (Baker & Nelson, 2005). Processes such as experimenting, reframing, or recombining resources allow for “creative reinvention”, as Rice and Rogers (1980) describe.
It is a process that leads to finding valuable paths through existing resources. The behaviour results in an increased understanding of the firm’s resources, which allows opportunity discovery based on prior knowledge. According to Austrian economics, it leads to unique and fast opportunity discovery, which can be considered very crucial in today's fast-paced
business environment (Venkataraman, 1997; Winkel, Van Evenhoven, & Yu, 2013).
Through the creation, preservation, and redeployment of a firm’s resources, above- average levels of services can be explored in comparison to competitors who have a focus on resource seeking behaviour. This leads to firms that engage in bricolage, discovering valuable resource combinations when they see the available resources in a different light. Such
combinations are often considered irrelevant by competitors (Senyard, Baker, & Davidsson, 2009). This connects to the ideas of Penrose (1959), in which firms have similar resources and engage in finding their unique services from these homogeneous resources. More specifically, bricolage behaviour often involves the use of underdeveloped and slack resources to create these new combinations (Baker & Nelson, 2005).
2.3.1 Three critical elements of entrepreneurial bricolage
According to Lévi-Straus, there seem to be three critical elements of entrepreneurial bricolage: stock (repertoire), dialogue, and outcome. The resources of the entrepreneur exist in equilibrium with a continuous flow, they are heterogeneous by nature, and each have their own individual history.
The stock or repertoire are the “material and immaterial resources that are collected independently of any particular project or utilisation” (Duymedjian & Rüling, 2010, p. 137).
When engaging in entrepreneurial bricolage, the entrepreneur starts with a particular structure of the stock by which the resources are always returned when finished. The entrepreneur possesses an intimate knowledge of how the elements relate to each other; promoting self- efficacy (Lévi-Strauss, 1966).
The second critical element includes the dialogue. The process of finding new combinations of resources involves a form of dialogue. The dialogue starts with the existing structure of the stock which allows for the discovery of different combinations. It involves the arrangement of objects by evaluating their functionally performing structure. The dialogue is not a transformation of objects, but a continuous process of examining, changing, and
substituting the pre-existing objects (Lévi-Strauss, 1966). This process is a highly personal
learning process that gives the entrepreneur ideas on how to overcome functional fixedness biases (German & Barrett, 2005).
The final critical element, according to Lévi-Strauss (1966), is the outcome. The ambivalence of bricolage, including both the process and the outcome, signifies the circular dynamic of the concept. The outcome of bricolage involves a new arrangement of elements.
This new arrangement is not necessarily the final arrangement, but presents a new dialogue.
The outcome can always be disassembled or re-integrated as the outcome of the dialogue is hardly a new arrangement of original elements. The entrepreneur engaging in a bricolage dialogue will always incorporate a personal touch to the arrangement.
Bricolage behaviour is a useful tool for entrepreneurs, however there is one
predicament to the theory. The described process of entrepreneurial bricolage is difficult to assess and to plan, as it includes an intuitive performance logic instead of generally accepted actions. The success of bricolage depends on the expertise and capacity of the entrepreneur, instead of a clearly defined division of labour or modes of operations (Duymedjian & Rüling, 2010). The act of bricolage involves the tactics in everyday life; the entrepreneur lands in a new space with no fixed boundaries in which they have to be tactical to develop opportunities.
They decide the rules of the game by arranging the elements of the resources (Duymedjian &
Rüling, 2010). Since the entrepreneur’s actions play such an essential role in bricolage, the formed arrangements are bound to a specific entrepreneur. It is thus difficult for an
organisation to use or recreate these arrangements independently. The exploitation of bricolage arrangements is, therefore, more complex compared to well-defined modes of operations (Duymedjian & Rüling, 2010).
To conclude, the theory of bricolage refers to a behaviour that focuses on the resources at hand, instead of exploring new ones (Baker & Nelson, 2005). It involves accessing creative solutions through the assemblage of an entrepreneur’s resources. An entrepreneur engaging in bricolage does not go beyond the existing resource stock; instead, they experiment and exploit instead of exploring new options (Duymedjian & Rüling, 2010).
This experimentation also occurs when social entrepreneurs engage in IWB. At first glance, entrepreneurial bricolage and IWB seem like similar concepts; however, they are two distinct behaviours. The following section will elaborate on IWB and outline relevant findings.
2.4 Innovative work behaviour
IWB can be described as “the intentional creation, introduction and application of new ideas within a work role, group or organisations, to benefit role performance, the group or the organisation” (Janssen, 2000, p. 288). IWB is relevant and almost essential employee
behaviour for organisations in today’s rapidly changing environment. In order to sustain a competitive advantage, organisations have to rely on employees to engage in innovative processes (Ramamoorthy, Flood, Slattery, & Sardessai, 2005). The following section will expound on how IWB is understood in this study and summarise important findings on IWB from academic literature.
This study adopts the conceptualisation of IWB as proposed by De Jong and Den Hartog (2010). They conducted research to find a reliable measure for innovative work behaviour, and suggest four dimensions to IWB: idea exploration, idea generation, idea championing, and idea implementation. In the first phase, the opportunity gets discovered;
information is reorganised and combined. Subsequently, a solution is found for the
opportunity in the idea generation phase. After, support has to be found in the organisation for the proposed idea. This is referred to as idea championing. Finally, the idea can be
implemented in the last phase (De Jong & Den Hartog, 2010). These phases show that IWB refers to the inventive and creative ability to introduce new ideas through a combination of strategic orientation and ingenious processes and behaviours (Wang & Ahmed, 2004; Koong, Ng, Ramayah, Koh, & Yoong, 2021).
Innovativeness has been researched extensively in entrepreneurship literature and in recent years also within the resource-constraint perspective (e.g., Cai et al., 2019; Pellegrino
& Savona, 2017; Gibbert, Hoegl, & Valikangas, 2014). The following section will summarise some relevant findings.
Literature indicates that an essential aspect of IWB is that the behaviour is neither expected of the employee nor stated in their contract (Ramamoorthy et al., 2005). It can be described as discretionary and extra-role behaviour, not part of the formal reward systems (Organ, 1998). IWB is thus dependent on the intrinsic motivations of the employees and their own perceptions of what they have to do to fulfil their psychological contracts. Such contracts refer to the beliefs an individual has towards their reciprocal obligations (Ramamoorthy et al., 2005). These perceptions can result in committed employees who engage in IWB.
Specifically, promotions based on merit result in reciprocal behaviour; employees engaging in innovative behaviours (Ramamoorthy et al., 2005).
Furthermore, the literature states autonomy to be an essential factor for successful IWB. Work environments in which there is less control on how employees fulfil their job stimulate employees to be innovative, by implementing other work methods (Ramamoorthy et al., 2005). Simultaneously, having agency over one’s job results in an enriched experience, which in turn stimulates employees to engage in extra-role behaviours such as IWB. Overall, Ramamoorthy et al. (2005) found that the way that jobs are designed substantially influences the flourishing of IWB. This is connected to the leadership within a firm. Several studies have found the importance of top management support for IWB (Amabile, Schatzel, Moneta, &
Kramer, 2004; Javed, Naqvi, Khan, Arjoon, & Tayyeb, 2017; Jung, Wu, & Chow, 2008;
Yindong & Xinxin, 2013). This can be explained through the Componential Theory of Creativity (Muchiri, McMurray, Nkhoma, & Pham, 2020). The theory explains components that are necessary to produce creative work: the social environment in which the individual works, extrinsic motivators such as the encouragement of supervisors or the support through a clear vision contribute to creative behaviour (Amabile, 2011).
As leadership is an important aspect to the development of IWB, studies have researched which type of leadership is most effective to stimulate IWB. Transformational leadership style was found to be the most effective. This style is characterised by motivational and inspirational focus (Bass, 1985). Through idealised influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualised consideration, transformational leaders succeed in stimulating innovation at the workplace (Bass, 1985; Tipu, Ryan, & Fantazy, 2012). More specifically, idealised influence and inspirational motivation through the role modelling of effective, innovative behaviours. Intellectual stimulation, on the other hand, stimulates creativity which is an essential aspect of innovation (Tipu et al., 2012). Lastly, individual consideration allows leaders to encourage their followers to be innovative by being creative and taking risks (Muchiri et al., 2020).
In conclusion, IWB is an essential behaviour nowadays, as it results in employees finding creative ideas and solutions granting firms a competitive advantage (Ramamoorthy et al., 2005). The behaviour is not part of the formal reward system and heavily depends on the circumstances within the firm (Organ, 1998; Ramamoorthy et al., 2005).
3. Theoretical framework
This chapter will outline the hypotheses of this study. Literature will be used to justify the expected relationships. It is expected that both entrepreneurial bricolage and IWB will
have a positive effect on the scaling of social impact. Additionally, entrepreneurial bricolage is also likely to have a positive effect on IWB. The final hypothesis and main focus of this study includes the expectations that IWB mediates the positive relationship between bricolage and the scaling of social impact.
3.1 Entrepreneurial bricolage & The scaling of social impact
As previously mentioned, entrepreneurial bricolage allows social entrepreneurs to overcome the challenges of their resource-constrained environments. It sparks persistence to develop solutions and effective business models, which seems to support the scaling of their social impact (Linna, 2013). In this section, the elements of cultural resources and
embeddedness are discussed to explain the relationship between entrepreneurial bricolage and the scaling of social impact.
First, bricolage behaviour involves continuous experimentation which leads to new and unexpected cultural resources to deploy (Dacin, Dacin, & Matear, 2010). Cultural resources are “the norms, values, roles, language, attitudes, beliefs, identities, and aesthetic expressions of a community” (Dacin et al., 2010, p. 49). Literature has indicated that the ability of social entrepreneurs to collect, understand, and leverage cultural knowledge can be considered a key determinant of developing successful enterprises (Dacin et al., 2010). It is crucial for social entrepreneurs to know and understand the social and cultural standards in their network. Without this knowledge, social entrepreneurs do not have sufficient grasp on the external environment of their enterprise, which leads to “cultural barriers” when trying to achieve success (Staber, 2005). As the SCALERS model states, it is crucial for social
entrepreneurs to leverage and understand the market logic around them in order to scale their efforts (Cannatelli, 2016).
A study by Bacq et al. (2015) supports this idea, as they found a positive relationship between entrepreneurial bricolage and the scaling of social impact on markets and
communities for US social enterprises. They discuss that the cultural resources found through bricolage assist social entrepreneurs in designing scalable solutions to complex problems (Bacq et al., 2015). This finding was also supported by Desa and Koch (2014) who illustrate how bricolage helps a social entrepreneur develop cultural resources that are useful for
adapting products to rural socio-economic needs. The study showed a particular connection of bricolage behaviour to the scaling of impact depth. However, they also mention conditions under which bricolage behaviour increases breath impact, namely during periods in which new information can be used.
Second, the embeddedness aspect of being a social entrepreneur can explain the relationship between entrepreneurial bricolage and the scaling of their social impact as well.
Bricolage behaviour helps social enterprises become embedded within their network (Baker, 1990; Smith & Stevens, 2010). This embeddedness in turn helps them scale their social impact. Embeddedness explains the relationships of actors that influence their behaviours (Granovetter, 1985). It is in contradiction to the classical economic idea that decisions are made in isolation. Embeddedness entails that decisions are made with interconnected
resources and social systems (Baker, 1990). Specifically, structural embeddedness entails that the quality and structure of the social ties shape the action (Uzzi, 1996).
Embeddedness is important as social entrepreneurs operate within a network in which they share information and where important decisions are made, including scaling decisions.
Bricolage behaviour inherently has a local focus which promotes a network of ties primarily within the local community; supporting the development of trust and bounded solidarity.
These local ties based on trust foster the necessary initial political support and motivation to expand geographically which can bring an array of scaling opportunities (Desa & Koch, 2014;
Smith & Stevens, 2010). More specifically, these opportunities are often paired with the context of the social issue being addressed. Through these embedded ties, social entrepreneurs seem to be able to better match the size of the problem they are attempting to solve (Bacq et al., 2015).
Thus, the development of cultural resources and embeddedness through bricolage behaviour illustrate the positive effect this behaviour can have on the scaling of social impact.
However, some studies show evidence to the contrary. Several studies raised the question of whether engaging in a great amount of bricolage can also have adverse effects on the firm’s performance (Harper, 1987; Baker, Miner, & Easley, 2003). Research remains inconclusive of the boundary condition of entrepreneurial bricolage. For instance, Bacq et al. (2015) found a U-shaped relationship between bricolage and scaling of impact, while Senyard et al. (2014) were unable to find support for the boundary condition of bricolage. However, there is some rationale behind this boundary condition. As mentioned before, bricolage can result in finding the “brilliant unforeseen” (Lévi-Strauss, 1967); however, it can also lead to an excessive amount of exploration (Ireland & Webb, 2007). The continuous experimentation may result in a repeated shift in focus from one opportunity to another (Lanzara, 1999). Consequently, the self-reinforced exploration of resources can lead to an excessive amount of information related to the different resource combinations. This can potentially heighten the bounded rationality of the firm’s employees; they start to overestimate their limited capacity to process
the information in a purposeful way(March, 1978; Simon, 1957; Thagard, 2005). The
excessive exploration and overload of information may result in a lack of exploiting solutions and opportunities. Exploitation is necessary for the continuation of the social enterprise (Lanzara, 1999). Overall, this could lead to poor performance, stagnation, confusion, and unpredictability (Baker & Nelson, 2005; Hatton, 1989; Ireland & Webb, 2007). However, only one study by Bacq et al. (2015) found support for the boundary condition, which does not compare to the amount of literature discussing the positive effects of entrepreneurial bricolage.
To conclude, although some contingencies in literature exist, bricolage behaviour allows the development of cultural resources and local ties with the network of the social enterprise. This consequently leads to opportunities for social entrepreneurs to scale their social impact (Baker, 1990; Dacin et al., 2010; Desa & Koch, 2015; Smith & Stevens, 2010).
This leads to the first hypothesis:
H1: Entrepreneurial bricolage has a positive effect on the scaling of social impact for social entrepreneurs.
3.2 Entrepreneurial bricolage & Innovative work behaviour
As previously described, it is expected that both IWB and entrepreneurial bricolage will have a positive influence on the scaling of social impact. Moreover, it seems that these two
concepts are related to each other. Literature indicates that entrepreneurial bricolage also has a positive effect on IWB (Senyard et al., 2014; Cai et al, 2019). It has already been discussed that entrepreneurial bricolage tends to occur in resource-constrained environments. Likewise, literature indicates that IWB also occurs considerably more often in those environments (Bhidé, 1994; Stevenson, Roberts, Grousbeck,1998; Senyard et al., 2014). It is suggested that entrepreneurial bricolage stimulates IWB (Senyard et al., 2014). The following section will discuss several characteristics of bricolage behaviour that indicates its relationship to IWB.
The characteristics are as follows: “bias for action”, creative environment, and experimentation.
First, entrepreneurial bricolage allows a “bias for action”. IWB requires investment, and when firms find themselves in a resource-constrained environment, they often tend to copy instead of innovating. Firms tend to not even attempt to engage in IWB as they are discouraged by their resource limitations. However, bricolage behaviour creates a “bias for action” to engage with their resources (Cai et al., 2019; Baker & Nelson, 2005; Senyard et al.,
2014). Entrepreneurial bricolage enables the active engagement with resources inside the firm, promoting IWB and overcoming the resource constraints (Lévi-Strauss, 1967). Thus, a social enterprise engaging in bricolage will have an active motivation to engage in IWB with its existing resources.
Secondly, bricolage behaviour inherently includes an aspect of creativity (Lévi-
Strauss, 1967). Social entrepreneurs engaging in bricolage foster a creative environment in the social enterprise, discouraging social entrepreneurs from focusing too much on opportunities with resources outside of the firm and instead shifting the focus on finding solutions while using their existing resources creatively. This creative environment established through bricolage stimulates social entrepreneurs to work in innovative ways (Cai et al., 2019;
Senyard et al., 2009). In other words, entrepreneurial bricolage creates a creative workspace in which IWB is promoted.
Third, entrepreneurial bricolage involves experimentation. Firms engaging in bricolage will persist in trying new ways to use their resources (Bacq et al., 2015), as this requires an open mind, and promotes collective experimentation and exploration of novel ways to use existing resources (Duymedjian & Rüling, 2010). The experimentation is also central to IWB as recombining resources is considered a primary force of innovation within the literature (Schumpeter, 1934; Senyard et al., 2014; Nelson & Winter; 1982). When firms engage in bricolage, they have a higher willingness to experiment with their existing
resources leading to IWB. Thus, entrepreneurial bricolage inherently involves
experimentation which consequently sparks the experimentation necessary for innovative work behaviour.
To conclude, entrepreneurial bricolage creates new combinations of existing resources, which can be seen as a mechanism to drive IWB. Bricolage behaviour promotes IWB through creating active motivation to explore new combinations of existing resources (Cai et al., 2019; Baker & Nelson, 2005; Senyard et al., 2014). Additionally, it fosters a creative environment and sparks the necessary experimentation for IWB (Nelson & Winter, 1982; Senyard et al., 2009). Based on these findings, the following hypothesis was formed:
H2: Entrepreneurial bricolage positively affects innovative work behaviour for social entrepreneurs.
3.3 Innovative work behaviour & the scaling of social impact
Literature does not only indicate that entrepreneurial bricolage has a positive effect on the scaling of social impact, but findings hint towards IWB having the same effect (e.g., Perrini et al., 2010; Shin, 2018). The following section will first describe how IWB has been considered as an important success factor for enterprises in general, and how this helps to explain the expectation that IWB will also be beneficial for social enterprises. Secondly, the involvement of stakeholders and the development of extensive resource knowledge will be used to explain the expected relationship between IWB and the scaling of social impact.
Factors that influence the success of enterprises are complex and multifaceted (Richter
& Kemter, 2000). Nonetheless, employee innovativeness seems to be a crucial success factor (Nieuwenhuizen & Kroon, 2003). Literature indicates that work innovativeness can lead to higher firm performance (Canh, Liem, Thu, & Khuong 2019; Thornhill, 2006; Schumpeter, 1942; Rubera & Kirca, 2012). The traditional explanation of the positive effect of innovation on firm performance dates back to Schumpeter’s (1942) theory of profit extraction. Firms have the ability to have a competitive advantage by obtaining above-normal rents through innovation. According to Schumpeter (1942), the key source to firm success is continuous innovation. Likewise, the theory of creative destruction states that firms that are innovative have a competitive advantage over firms that are not. Creative destruction occurs when old rules of conduct are replaced by new ways of doing things, and is a by-product of innovation.
Innovation has been empirically proven to assist the progress of economic growth and
corporate performance (Canh et al., 2019; Hall, Daneke, & Lenox, 2010; Schumpeter, 1940).
Social entrepreneurs play a crucial role in triggering creative destruction, as they have to continuously create solutions to their problems, by combining available resources (Shin, 2018; Svirinia, Zabbarova, & Oganisjana, 2016). It has even been stated that having the characteristics of an entrepreneur, like engaging in creative destruction, is even more important for social entrepreneurs than it is for classic entrepreneurs. Social entrepreneurs have to deal with many more challenges and are thus inherently more innovative, as innovation is necessary for the success of their firm (Shin, 2018). Thus, it can be expected that IWB does not only result in successful firm performance for the classic entrepreneur, but also for a social entrepreneur. IWB is expected to facilitate the scaling of social impact (Perrini et al., 2010). Moreover, Shin (2018) found that the innovativeness of the social entrepreneur, directly and indirectly, increases the social performance of the enterprise (Shin, 2018). The following paragraphs will explain the expected relationship in more detail by
looking at theoretical findings on the involvement of stakeholders and the benefits of extensive knowledge on resources.
First, the scaling of social impact requires the involvement of outside stakeholders.
Productive collaboration is necessary by which the social entrepreneur has to be able to efficiently interact with a variety of stakeholders, such as communities or governments (Shin, 2018). Engaging in IWB can thus stimulate the necessary involvement with external
stakeholders. Such contacts provoke knowledge-sharing and development, while decreasing the risk between stakeholders (Canh et al., 2019). To illustrate, when a social entrepreneur engages in an innovative way to create their product or deliver their service, they are forced to engage with outside stakeholders, like experts or manufacturers. These interactions stimulate their openness towards stakeholders, which creates opportunities for scaling. Two of the drivers of the SCALERS model can be recognised here – communicating and alliance building. Both of the drivers are crucial to scaling and skills have to be built by the social entrepreneur. The involvement of stakeholders through IWB stimulates the communication and relationship-building necessary for these components (Cannatelli, 2016).
Second, IWB allows for the development of extensive knowledge on the available resources, which consequently creates scaling opportunities. Social entrepreneurs engaging in IWB initiate a process of improvising and trial-and-error learning with their resources. These processes bring about collective and experience-based, tacit solutions through a heightened level of resource knowledge (Duymedjian & Rüling, 2010; Philips, Lee, Ghobadian, O’Regan, & James, 2015). The solutions include valuable and in-depth knowledge on the existing resources in the social enterprise; facilitating unique solutions that fit with the local community of the social enterprise or with specific customer needs (Cai et al., 2019). These types of solutions boostopportunities for scaling as the tacit in-depth knowledge leads to more successful solutions.
Scaling the impact of a solution entails a great need for tacit knowledge. It has to be built on in-depth knowledge, which has to be articulated, codified, and communicated
(Shephard & Patzelt, 2020). Solutions built on in-depth knowledge are especially useful in the changing and uncertain environments that social entrepreneurs often find themselves in (Atalay, Anafarta, & Sarvan, 2013). It can help them to quickly implement improvements, be more efficient, and have an advantage over non-innovative firms. Additionally, the extensive knowledge of resources helps entrepreneurs to find solutions less dependent on the
entrepreneur who originally designed a certain solution. It creates an effective solution based
on in-depth knowledge of resources which promotes replication – one of the drivers of the SCALERS model (Cannatelli, 2016).
To summarise, IWB has been considered as a reason behind successful entrepreneurial performance in academic literature for a long time (Nieuwenhuizen & Kroon, 2003). This also seems to be true for social entrepreneurs, as IWB encourages the involvement of stakeholders and the development of in-depth knowledge on the resources which allows for scalable solutions (Shin, 2018; Duymedjian & Rüling, 2010). The following hypothesis can be formed:
H3: Innovative work behaviour positively affects the scaling of social impact for social entrepreneurs.
3.4 The mediating role of innovative work behaviour
The previous sections concluded with the expectation that entrepreneurial bricolage will positively affect the scaling of social impact and IWB. On top of that, it was hypothesised that IWB appears to positively affect the scaling of social impact (e.g., Shin, 2018;
Duymedjian & Rüling, 2010). Therefore, based on Baron and Kenny’s (1986) conditions of a mediator, it can be suggested that IWB serves as a mediator between entrepreneurial bricolage and the scaling of social impact. The positive relationship between entrepreneurial bricolage and IWB represent the first leg of mediation. It is suggested that entrepreneurial bricolage serves as an engine of IWB (Senyard et al., 2014), which leads to the scaling of social impact.
This is not an entirely new idea, as the question of whether IWB could potentially explain the relationship between bricolage and the scaling of impact has previously been raised in
scientific research (Bacq et al., 2015). The following section will describe the expectations in more detail based on previously stated literature.
Entrepreneurial bricolage allows social entrepreneurs to scale their impact because the behaviour allows the creation of cultural resources and stimulates embeddedness in the local network (Bacq et al., 2015; Desa & Koch, 2014; Miettinen & Virkkunen, 2005). In order for this to happen, social entrepreneurs need to initiate contact with stakeholders in their
community. Without engaging relevant stakeholders, social entrepreneurs will not be able to create scalable solutions that fit within their community (Cannatelli, 2017). Working in an innovative way allows social entrepreneurs to do so as it prompts contact with stakeholders in the community and results in a high-level knowledge on their resources. Hence, while
entrepreneurial bricolage directly influences the scaling of social impact, IWB is triggered by bricolage which allows the necessary contacts with the community.
Based on these expectations it can be said that the process of increasing social impact by engaging in bricolage seems to occur in the following way. Bricolage behaviour creates a
‘bias for action’, sparks creativity and fosters experimentation which allows the entrepreneur to work in an innovative way (Baker & Nelson, 2005; Senyard et al., 2014; Lévi-Strauss, 1967). Social entrepreneurs are now situated in an environment in which IWB is expressed, which allows the social enterprise to engage with a variety of stakeholders and develop in- depth knowledge of its resources (Cai, Ying, & Liu, 2019; Duymedjian & Rüling, 2010; Shin, 2018). The solutions resulting from this have a variety of scaling opportunities, boosting the success of the enterprise in question.
To conclude, based on literature, it seems that entrepreneurial bricolage stimulates social entrepreneurs not to accept the limitations of their existing resources by which IWB is stimulated; this in turn allows them to scale their social impact. IWB seems to be the
mechanism between entrepreneurial bricolage and the scaling of social impact as it triggers essential elements of scaling social impact. Henceforth, the following hypothesis can be formed:
H4: Innovative work behaviour mediates the relationship between entrepreneurial bricolage and the scaling of social impact.
A conceptual model can be constructed based on the hypothesised relationships (see Figure 1).
Figure 1. Hypotheses
This section will describe the research design and the sample of the study followed by an overview of the main variables and the control variables. The final section will include the econometric equations for the data analyses in the next chapter.
4.1 Research design
To test the hypotheses, the data was collected through a cross-sectional survey design created with Qualtrics. The survey was constructed as follows: first, an introduction was given to explain the research to the participants. Within this introduction, the participants were also asked for their consent. To qualify for inclusion, the participant had to work at a social enterprise that is part of Social Enterprise NL or is a Certified B Corporation. This was explicitly mentioned in the consent paragraph. The second part consisted of a block with demographic questions related to the social entrepreneur and the social enterprise that they work at. Several control variables related to the characteristics of the social enterprise were included. The final block included questions to measure the main variables. This block also included a measurement for social desirability and an attention check. The full survey can be found in appendix A.
Before distributing the survey, a pilot test was done to assess the participant’s comprehension of the survey questions. The pilot test participants indicated no significant difficulties when answering the questions. Upon suggestion, a progress bar was added to the survey to indicate the remaining time for participants. Additionally, some minor grammar adjustments were made to improve the clarity of several questions.
The sample included social entrepreneurs found through a convenience and snowballing technique. The convenience sampling was done by using two databases with social entrepreneurs. These databases were from the Certified B Corporation website and the website NL Social Enterprise. The data was collected by distributing the survey via e-mail addresses found in these databases. The email contained a short explanation and a link to the study. A reminder email was sent after one week. Additionally, convenience sampling was used by contacting social entrepreneurs in the personal network of the author. Furthermore, the survey was also posted on LinkedIn and three Facebook groups for social entrepreneurs.
Finally, the snowballing technique was used, by asking all participants to distribute the survey among their own network of B certified social entrepreneurs or members of Social Enterprise
NL. Each participant was given a chance at winning a gift card of 20 euros for an online web shop.
The initial sample consisted of 361 participants. Prior to data analysis, the data was cleaned. 19 participants were deleted who either did not pass the attention check or due to missing values. The answers from the remaining respondents were checked to identify fraudulent respondents. Patterns in answers became apparent by which respondents had answered in the shape of an arrow. Additionally, these respondents always filled in their country of residence as one of the first options on the list. It can be expected that the gift card incentive resulted in fraudulent respondents. 78 suspicious respondents were deleted.
The final sampleincluded 264 participants, 144 males, 109 females, 9 who identified as “other”, and 2 participants who preferred not to say. Participants' ages ranged between 20 and 65 with an average age of 37 (M = 36.87, SD = 9.18). The sample included social entrepreneurs with 18 nationalities,65% from Europe and 35% from the United States of America. The majority of the European sample considered their home, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium or Italy. The majority of the sample completed at least a Bachelors.
The social entrepreneurs worked at various social enterprises with a minimum of 1 employee and a maximum of 5000 employees (M = 130.88, SD = 372.93). The majority of the sample consisted of enterprises who have been in business between 3 to 8 years. The social enterprises also came from a different mix of industries. The majority of the sample operated in the healthcare and wellbeing industry or the energy supply and saving industry.
Additionally, 133 of the social enterprises have an environmental purpose as their main goal, with the remaining 131 social enterprises having their main focus on a social goal. Lastly, 150 of the enterprises offered a service, while 114 of the enterprises sold a product. Descriptives can be found in Table 1.
Table 1. Descriptives
Less than 3 years 45
3 to 8 years 99
9 to 15 years 80
More than 15 years 22
Health-care & well-being 46 Energy supply and saving 31 Financial and business services 24
Culture, arts, sports, and recreation 15
Catering industry 9
Facility management 11
Waste processing 5
Information and communication 22 Agriculture, forestry and fishing 5 Transport and recreation 9
Note. N = 246
This section will describe the measurements of the main variables. The scales for the measurements can be found in appendix B.
4.3.1 Entrepreneurial bricolage
The independent variable entrepreneurial bricolage was measured using the existing 8- item scale by Senyard et al. (2014). Items include when we face new challenges, we put together workable solutions from our existing resources. This scale reflects the Baker and Nelson (2005) definition of bricolage as used in this research. The definition exists out of three parts – (1) making do, (2) use of existing resources at hand, and (3) resource
combinations applied to new problems and opportunities. The items of the scale reflect all three elements while understanding bricolage as a unidimensional index, following existing