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Research strategy

Our research is focused on building and sharing knowledge about the most deep-rooted global social problems, in particular poverty, widening health inequalities, and environmental sustainability. We believe that ‘solutions’ to these problems reside across sectors and organisational forms, and in a different kind of leadership that blurs the boundaries between what is for-profit and what is not-for-profit.

At the core of our approach is “deep engagement” – the philosophy that underpins research across CJBS.

Within the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation, this involves working closely with organisations engaged in social change in order to help them interpret their experiences and to put them in a wider context so that ideas and practices can be shared with, and elaborated upon by, others addressing related issues and problems.

As well as helping social innovators to reflect upon and share effective ideas and practices, deep engagement helps academic researchers to develop research questions that are relevant to social innovators, to design research projects that better capture the organisational and leadership dynamics of social innovation, and ultimately to generate more nuanced and impactful theories of social change.

Social innovation research

Enabling Social Innovation through Digital Innovation

Professor Michael Barrett is involved with two projects that examine how digital innovation around mobile technologies and online communities can enhance social innovation in both developed and developing countries.

Collaborators: Eivor Oborn (WBS), Wanda Orlikowski (MIT), Anna Kim (Ivey)

This study examines how service innovation enabled by mobile platforms have been developed and deployed for financial inclusion. MPESA was established as a joint venture between Vodafone and Safaricom, Kenya’s dominant mobile network operator with its low technology SMS messaging platform developed by a UK based company in Silicon Fenn, Sagentia to enable money transfers between thousands of network agents across Kenya (REFS). We examine how the dramatic success of this innovation trajectory as it improves the lives of millions of Kenyans who were previously locked out from the financial system while at the same time a far more disappointing result ensued in other sub-Saharan countries.

Collaborators: Ignacio Perez-Hallerbach, (CJBS), Samer Faraj (McGill University)

Online communities like Wikipedia have the potential to transform our global society. Despite their growing importance, however, we know little about how users connect for a social good and through knowledge collaboration make effective contributions in a nascent online community. We investigate this phenomenon by applying a mixed-method approach to a longitudinal case study of AshokaHub, a nascent global online community of social entrepreneurs.

Community organising

Associate Professor Helen Haugh is leading two projects on community organising.

Collaborators: Dr Timur Alexandrov & Geoffrey Hunter, Ely Diocese

The REACH Ely project (Reimagining Churches as Community Assets for the Common Good) (2018-2021) investigates the relationship between communities and churches, the wider use of church buildings, and the contribution that churches make to the common good. The project was implemented by the Cambridge Judge Business School and the Diocese of Ely and supported by Benefact (formerly the All Churches Trust) and Historic England. Three main outputs of Reach Ely comprise: 40 case studies of community use of church buildings; an audit of church buildings and their use in the Ely Diocese; and research publications.

Full details of Reach Ely are available on the Ely Diocese website.

Case studies

Case studies of 40 church communities in the Ely Diocese. Using data gathered from interviews, secondary and observation, each case study presents an in depth description of community use of church buildings. The full list of case studies is available on the Ely Diocese website.

Audit of church buildings

An online survey of the condition and use of church buildings in Ely Diocese. A PDF of the survey instrument is available on the Ely Diocese website.

Research outputs

Alexandrov, T., & Haugh, H. 2021. “Situating social innovation: Incremental and radical social innovations in religious buildings”. Paper presented to International Social Innovation Research Conference.

Alexandrov, T., & Haugh, H. 2021. “Restoring relationship with the community: Social innovation typology in England”. Paper presented to Western Academy of Management Annual Conference.

Alexandrov, T., & Haugh, H. 2021. “Situating social innovation: Incremental and radical Social innovations in religious buildings”. Academy of Management Paper Development Workshop. University of Edinburgh.

Alexandrov, T., & Haugh, H. 2020. “Knowing your place”. Paper presented to the Academy of Management Annual Conference.

Alexandrov, T. & Haugh, H. 2019. “Knowing your place: Place claiming and place making”. Academy of Management Paper Development Workshop. University of Edinburgh.

Helen M Haugh

Project summary

The research project (2018-2022) examines how communities organize to establish sustainable community ventures in an island based, rural community. The research was funded by the Leverhulme Foundation. Using data gathered from archives, interviews and participant observation, the analysis sheds light on communities, asset management and engagement with sustainable economic, social and environmental development.

Research outputs: publications

Haugh, H. 2022. “Changing places: The generative effects of community embeddedness in place”. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 34 (7-8), 542-566.

Haugh, H. 2022. Panel member. “Towards a more nuanced understanding of communities: definitions, debates and dark sides”. Symposium organized by M. Cascadden & M. Zebrowski at the Academy of Management Annual Conference.

Haugh, H. 2021. “The governance of entrepreneurial community ventures: How do conflicting community interests influence opportunity exploitation?”  Journal of Business Venturing Insights. 16 (on-line).

Haugh, H. 2021. “Institutional legacy and community enterprise development”. Paper presented to the Academy of Management Annual Conference.

Haugh, H. 2021. “Institutional legacy and community enterprise development”. Western Academy of Management Annual Conference.

Peredo, A.-M., Haugh, H., Hudon, M., & Meyer, C. 2020. “Mapping concepts and issues in the ethics of the commons: Introduction to the special issue”. Journal of Business Ethics, 166, 659-672.

Haugh, H. 2020. “Institutional legacy and social enterprise opportunity recognition”. Presentation to The Future of Social entrepreneurship: Which Forms? Which Outcomes? Seminar on Social Entrepreneurship. University of Brussels.

Haugh, H. 2020. “Social economy evolving”. Paper presented to the Academy of Management Annual Conference.

Haugh, H. “Community asset management”. 2018. Panel member. Professional Development Workshop: Civil Society. Academy of Management.

Haugh, H., Peredo, A.-M., Meyer, C. & Hudon, M. 2018. “The ethics of the commons”. SEE Sustainability European Conference.

2022

Haugh, H. (2022) “Changing places: the generative effects of community embeddedness in place” Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 34 (7-8), 542-566. 

Hagerdoorn, J., Haugh, H., Robson, P., and Sugar, K. (2022) “Social innovation, goal orientation and openness: insights from social enterprise hybrids.” Small Business Economics: An International Journal 

2021

Haugh, H. (2021) “The governance of entrepreneurial community ventures: how do conflicting community interests influence opportunity exploitation?”  Journal of Business Venturing Insights. 16 (on-line). 

2020

Peredo, A.-M., Haugh, H., Hudon, M., & Meyer, C. (2020) “Mapping concepts and issues in the ethics of the commons: Introduction to the special issue”. Journal of Business Ethics, 166, 659-672.

2018

Peredo, A.M., Haugh, H.M. and McLean, M. (2018) “Common property: uncommon forms of prosocial organizing.” Journal of Business Venturing, 33(5): 591-602 

Wry, T. and Haugh, H. (2018) “Brace for impact: uniting our diverse voices through a social impact frame.” Journal of Business Venturing, 33(5): 566-574 

Huybrechts, B. and Haugh, H. (2018) “The roles of networks in institutionalizing new hybrid organizational forms: insights from the European Renewable Energy Cooperative Network.” Organization Studies, 39(8): 1085-1108 

Stott, N., Fava, M., Tracey, P. and Claus, L. (2018) “Playing well with others? Community cross-sector work in poor places.” In: Re-thinking Cross-Sector Social Innovation Conference, 6-7 April 2018, Social Innovation and Change Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA, USA.

2015

Holger, E., Kahle, H.N., Dubiel, A., Prabhu, J. and Subramaniam, M. (2015) “The antecedents and consequences of affordable value innovations for emerging markets.” Journal of Product Innovation (forthcoming)

2014

Doherty, B., Haugh, H. and Lyon, F. (2014) “Social enterprises as hybrid organizations: a review and research agenda.” International Journal of Management Reviews (DOI: 10.1111/ijmr.12028) (published online Jan 2014; forthcoming in print)

Barrett, M. and Orlikowski, W. (2014) “Digital innovation in emerging markets: a case study of mobile money.” Center for Information Systems Research Research Briefing. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management.

Reinecke, J. and Ansari, S. (2014) “What is a ‘fair’ price? Ethics as sensemaking.” Organization Science (forthcoming) (a previous version of this paper won the Best Environmental and Social Practices Paper Award, OMT Division, Academy of Management, 2013)

Reinecke, J. and Ansari, S. (2014) “When times collide: temporal brokerage at the intersection of markets and development.” Academy of Management Journal (DOI: 10.5465/amj.2012.1004) (forthcoming) (a previous version of this paper won the Best International Paper Paper Award, OMT Division, Academy of Management, 2014)

2013

Ansari, S.M., Wijen, F. and Gray, B. (2013) “Constructing a climate change logic: an institutional perspective on the ‘tragedy of the commons’.” Organization Science, 24(4): 1014-1040 (DOI: 10.1287/orsc.1120.0799)

Kahle, H.N., Dubiel, A., Ernst, H. and Prabhu, J. (2013) “The democratizing effects of frugal innovation: implications for inclusive growth and state-building.” Journal of Indian Business Research, 5(4): 220-234 (DOI: 10.1108/JIBR-01-2013-0008)

2012

Ansari, S., Munir, K. and Gregg, T. (2012) “Impact at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’: the role of social capital in capability development and community empowerment.” Journal of Management Studies, 49(4): 813-842 (DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6486.2012.01042.x)

George, G., McGahan, A.M. and Prabhu, J. (2012) “Innovation for inclusive growth: towards a theoretical framework and a research agenda.” Journal of Management Studies, 49(4): 661-683 (DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6486.2012.01048.x)

Lawrence, T., Phillips, N. and Tracey, P. (2012) “Educating social entrepreneurs and social innovators.” Academy of Management Learning and Education, 11(3): 319-323 (DOI: 10.5465/amle.2012.0224)

Radjou, N. and Prabhu, J. (2012) “Mobilizing for growth in emerging markets: to reach the “next billion” consumers, multinational companies will need to move beyond value chain localization and create new networks of local partners.” MIT Sloan Management Review, 53(3): 81-88

2011

Ansari, S., Wijen, F. and Gray, B. (2011) “Fiddling while the ice melts? How organizational scholars can take a more active role in the climate change debate.” Strategic Organization, 9(1): 70-76 (DOI: 10.1177/1476127010395525)

Tracey, P., Phillips, N. and Jarvis, O. (2011) “Bridging institutional entrepreneurship and the creation of new organizational forms: a multilevel model.” Organization Science, 22(1): 60-80 (DOI: 10.1287/orsc.1090.0522)

Dacin, M.T., Dacin, P.A. and Tracey, P. (2011) “Social entrepreneurship: a critique and future directions.” Organization Science, 22(5): 1203-1213 (DOI: 10.1287/orsc.1100.0620)

2010

Di Domenico, M., Haugh, H. and Tracey, P. (2010) “Social bricolage: theorizing social value creation in social enterprises.” Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 34(4): 681-703

Haugh, H.M. and Talwar, A. (2010) “How do corporations embed sustainability across the organization?” Academy of Management Learning and Education, 9(3): 384-396

Moizer, J. and Tracey, P. (2010) “Strategy making in social enterprise: the role of resource allocation and its effects on organizational sustainability.” Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 27(3): 252-266 (DOI: 10.1002/sres.1006)

Munir, K., Ansari, S. and Gregg, T. (2010) “Beyond the hype: taking business strategy to the ‘bottom of the pyramid’.” In Baum, J.A.C. and Lampel, J. (eds.): The globalization of strategy research. (Advances in Strategic Management Series, vol.27) Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing, pp.247-276

2009

Kneiding, C. and Tracey, P. (2009) “Towards a performance measurement framework for community development finance institutions in the UK.” Journal of Business Ethics, 86(3): 327-345

Di Domenico, M., Tracey, P. and Haugh, H. (2009) “The dialectic of social exchange: theorising corporate-social enterprise collaboration.” Organization Studies, 30(8): 887-907 (DOI: 10.1177/0170840609334954)

Di Domenico, M., Tracey, P. and Haugh, H. (2009) “Social economy involvement in public service delivery: community engagement and accountability.” Regional Studies, 43(7): 981-992

2007

Khan, F., Munir, K. and Willmott, H. (2007) “A dark side of institutional entrepreneurship: soccer balls, child labour and postcolonial impoverishment.” Organization Studies, 28(7): 1055-1077 (DOI: 10.1177/0170840607078114)

Haugh, H. (2007) “Community-led social venture creation.” Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 31(2): 161-182 (DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2007.00168.x)

Haugh, H. (2007) “New strategies for a sustainable society: the growing contribution of social entrepreneurship.” Business Ethics Quarterly, 17(4): 743-750

Haugh, H. (2005) “The role of social enterprise in regional development.” International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2(4): 346-357

Haugh, H. and Kitson, M. (2007) “The Third Way and the third sector: New Labour’s economic policy and the social economy.” Cambridge Journal of Economics, 31(6): 973-994

Nwankwo, E., Phillips, N. and Tracey, P. (2007) “Social investment through community enterprise: the case of MNC involvement in the development of Nigerian water resources.” Journal of Business Ethics, 73(1): 91-101 (DOI: 10.1007/s10551-006-9200-8)

Stott, N, and Tracey, P. (2007) “Between a rock and a hard place? Exploring the strategic tensions experienced by development trusts.” Journal of Finance and Management in Public Services, 6(3): 45-56

Tracey, P. and Jarvis, O. (2007) “Toward a theory of social venture franchising.” Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 31(5): 667-685 (DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2007.00194.x)

Tracey, P. and Phillips, N. (2007) “The distinctive challenge of educating social entrepreneurs: a postscript and rejoinder to the special issue on entrepreneurship education.” Academy of Management Learning and Education, 6(2): 264-271

Wijen, F. and Ansari, S.M. (2007) “Overcoming inaction through collective institutional entrepreneurship: insights from regime theory.” Organization Studies, 28(7): 1079-1100

2006

Tracey, P. and Jarvis, O. (2006) “An enterprising failure.” Stanford Social Innovation Review, 4(1): 66-70

2005

Tracey, P., Phillips, N. and Haugh, H. (2005) “Beyond philanthropy: community enterprise as a basis for corporate citizenship.” Journal of Business Ethics 58(4): 327-344

Radjou, N., Prabhu, J. and Ahuja, S. (2012) Jugaad innovation: think frugal, be flexible, generate breakthrough growth. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Research summaries from our MSt in Social Innovation cohort.

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