4th International Social Innovation Research Conference (ISIRC)
Third Sector Research Centre, Birmingham, 12-14 September 2012
Stream 5: Governance and Stakeholder Relationships Stream
Jo Barraket (Queensland University of Technology) and Roger Spear (The Open University)
Governance is often defined as the systems and processes concerned with ensuring the overall direction, supervision and accountability of an organisation. Typically governance is exercised by the board through its relationship with management. And social enterprise generally have some dimension of ownership or involvement of stakeholder groups, whose relationships to the organisation are often (but not exclusively) mediated through the board.
Common governance challenges that face social enterprise include:
- ‘Recruiting’ board members with the right skills and experience
- Choosing an appropriate legal and governance structure for entrepreneurial activity
- Balancing of social and financial goals
- Managing new entrepreneurial risks
- Strengthening the capacity of boards to control management
- Managing the interdependencies between boards and management
- Balancing the different roles of boards (supervisor, director, partner, representative, supporter)
- Maintaining good stakeholder/membership relations
- Ensuring accountability in self-selecting boards (without members)
- Improving the performance of boards (addressing complacency about underperformance)
- Managing the often competing demands of different stakeholders (“delegate syndrome” or the representation of sectional interests) vs the board as a team
This stream is concerned with examining the governance issues commonly faced by different types of social enterprise, and the three-way interaction between the board, the organisation’s stakeholders, and management. More broadly the stream will consider contributions relating to the regulatory framework within which governance is exercised. These include reporting frameworks including stakeholder reports and social reporting, transparency requirements, accountability, and so on.
It is important that papers are grounded in theoretical and empirical frameworks (see refs below) for explaining the fundamental differences in governance structures between different types of social enterprise. The stream is particularly interested in important themes (such as multi-stakeholder structures), and how governance challenges are addressed, as well as governance innovations and challenges faced by hybrids.
Abstract submissions for single papers and panel sessions should be sent directly to ISIRC@tsrc.ac.uk. See call for papers for more details.
Enquiries should be directed to the stream convenors: Jo Barraket (email@example.com) or Roger Spear (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Full stream description (PDF, 17KB)