Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Understanding the Social Economy of the United States

Understanding the Social Economy of the United States: An Emerging Perspective

Copyright Date: 2015
Pages: 416
  • Book Info
    Understanding the Social Economy of the United States
    Book Description:

    Understanding the Social Economy of the United Statesis a comprehensive introduction to the operation and study of organizations with social goals, rich in examples and case studies that explain the social economy framework in the context of the United States.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6394-7
    Subjects: Business, Management & Organizational Behavior, Sociology, Economics

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Lucy Bernholz

    Where does social good come from? This volume,Understanding the Social Economy of the United States, makes clear that the answer to this question is more complicated than some might think. The general notion that nonprofit organizations produce social good has dominated our thinking, but belied our reality, for too long. As the authors note, the categories of public, private, and philanthropic enterprises are neither static nor impermeable. The social economy of the United States, like in many other countries around the world, involves a diversity of organizations arrayed along several vectors of financial and social purpose. Businesses with social...

  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    Laurie Mook, John R. Whitman, Jack Quarter and Ann Armstrong
  6. Cases for Analysis
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  7. A Closer Look (Mini Case Studies)
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  8. List of Tables and Figures
    (pp. xix-xx)
  9. Part 1: An Overview of the Social Economy

    • 1 Introducing the Social Economy
      (pp. 3-34)

      This book presents a framework for understanding the impressive array of organizations in the United States economy that prioritize their social objectives over their economic ones – or what we call thesocial economy. The conventional sectors – private, public, and third – are useful in attempting to classify and differentiate organizations on a mutually exclusive basis. However, presenting such sectors as distinct spheres does little to convey the reality that many such organizations actually contain blended sectoral elements, and that this blending phenomenon appears to be increasing, further obscuring the clarity once presented by distinctly separate sectors. Consider a tax-exempt charitable organization...

  10. Part 2: The Components of the Social Economy

    • 2 Social Economy Businesses
      (pp. 37-66)

      Social economy businessesare situated at the intersection of the social economy and the private sector (see Figure 2.1). These organizations earn either all or a sizable portion of their revenues from the marketplace and may compete with private sector businesses, but they are driven by social objectives. Although a private sector business might argue that it meets a social need and contributes to the community in various ways such as through charitable donations, it is still primarily guided by a profit motive. Thus, a defining criterion for social economy businesses, as distinct from private sector businesses, is thatthe...

    • 3 Local Development Enterprises
      (pp. 67-96)

      Local development enterprisesare in the overlap among the social economy, private sector, and public sector. Local development enterprises embrace the distinctive characteristics of the social economy such as prioritizing their social objectives but also earn revenues from the market and require ongoing external supports, often from the government. They serve as a vehicle for generating local economic and social development.

      One feature of local development enterprises is their orientation toward a community, typically within a geographical locale, but also they can be structured around a common interest (e.g., the performing arts). Types of local development enterprises include community development...

    • 4 Public Sector Nonprofits
      (pp. 97-123)

      In chapter 1 , we defined a public sector nonprofit as a hybrid arrangement involving a social economy organization that overlaps with the public sector in that it provides a public good or service that is guided in part by government policy and relies to some extent upon government funding. In this chapter we discuss various manifestations of this interaction between the social economy and the public sector including community health centers, nonprofit housing organizations, and rape crisis centers.

      This chapter is principally concerned with 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organizations, typically referred to as charities. Since the Second World War, such...

    • 5 Civil Society Organizations
      (pp. 124-158)

      The role of civil society organizations in a democracy was part of the discourse of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Scholars of that era conceived of civil society as a social space that was distinct from the state; they also believed civil society could serve to counteract despotism (Keane, 1998). But the role of factions in civil society, as public interest groups were then called, could also challenge legitimate, democratic government. This concern is brilliantly discussed by James Madison, known as the Father of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, in Federalist Number 10, in which he...

  11. Part 3: Critical Issues

    • 6 Organizational Design and Governance Strategies
      (pp. 161-191)

      The chapter has two main objectives: (1) to highlight the range of organizational strategies and design choices in the social economy and (2) to present the current thinking and practice of governance in the social economy. As governance crises shook the for-profit sector, there was an associated concern about the governance practices of the social economy – in particular, the effectiveness of nonprofit boards. Well-publicized scandals at the American Red Cross (discussed in the end-of-chapter case), the fraud scandal involving the leader of the United Way of America (see the following A Closer Look), and negative publicity about the administrative costs...

    • 7 Leadership and Strategic Management
      (pp. 192-220)

      In this chapter, we look at two key aspects of organizations – leadership and strategic management. In part one of the chapter, various theories of leadership are presented but the focus is on servant leadership, as it seems to have resonance for social economy organizations. In part two of the chapter, we discuss strategic management and strategic planning as techniques that have been adopted from the private sector for use in the social economy. The chapter concludes with a case on the Girl Scouts of America, an organization that, in its long history, has faced both crises of leadership and strategy....

    • 8 Human Resources Management
      (pp. 221-251)

      In this chapter, we look at the management of human resources, paid and unpaid, in social economy organizations. We first present the demographics of the social economy workforce and introduce the functions of human resources management (HRM) in general. Then we look at several models of HRM, with comparisons among the nonprofit, forprofit, and government workforces. The unique aspects of working in a social economy organization are covered next, along with their implications for HRM. We end the chapter by focusing on the skills and competencies needed to manage and work in organizations in the social economy.

      Workforce In 2010,...

    • 9 Financing
      (pp. 252-283)

      This chapter explores the issue of financing in the social economy. Financing is used to start an organization, cover operating expenses, purchase fixed assets such as buildings and equipment, and grow. After providing an overview of the range of revenues and financing available to social economy organizations, some of the challenges these entities face in obtaining this financing are discussed. The chapter introduces the concept of social finance, a particular form of investment that seeks to achieve social and environmental returns as well as economic ones, or what some label as a blended return (Emerson, 2000). Various forms of financing...

    • 10 Social Accounting
      (pp. 284-320)

      In this chapter, we look at how social accounting can be used to better tell the performance story of social economy organizations. Social accounting includes a wide range of activities with the common goal of broadening the framework of conventional accounting and attempting to understand the impact that an organization has on multiple stakeholders. We consider the role of accounting in accountability and control, and also in driving behaviors that move us toward the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of the organization and of society. The last half of this chapter discusses in detail four social accounting frameworks: the expanded...

  12. Part 4: Conclusions

    • 11 Concluding Thoughts
      (pp. 323-328)

      As we approach the end of our discussion of the social economy of the United States, we will briefly review the territory covered and then address some key issues for the future. The first two sections of this book described how different types of organizations with a social mission fit into categories of the Venn diagram (Figure 11.1) arranged to reveal the dynamic structure of the social economy of the United States. Here, four points merit attention. First, the Venn is inclusive of all organizations with a social mission, not simply one organization type such as a nonprofit, cooperative, or...

  13. References
    (pp. 329-378)
  14. Index
    (pp. 379-390)