South Asia Conference on Social Enterprise - Values and Processes

Call for abstracts


Date: Jan. 8, 2020 - Jan. 10, 2020

Venue: Tata Institute of Social Sciences


In recent years, social entrepreneurship has emerged as a global phenomenon in the context of the increasing gap between social and environmental demand and supply side of resources (Nicholls, 2006). The discipline of Social Entrepreneurship has been advancing fast to establish as multidisciplinary area equally sought after by scholarly community and practitioners. Probably this is one of the emerging disciplines of the 21st Century which has drawn attention of several stakeholders in search of sustainable practices to impact lives of millions marginalised due to several reasons of neo-liberal economic thoughts and practices. According to Dees (2001), “social mission is the heart of social entrepreneurship”. The gaps in the process of development are evident and hence the continued effort to search for ‘new knowledge’ in the areas related to social enterprise. After the emergence of the concepts of social entrepreneurship and social entrepreneur, scholars have started identifying the ‘hidden hands’ of social entrepreneurs in the creation of many institutions and movements (Bornstein and Davis, 2010). While the individual (Social Entrepreneur) and the process of enterprise creation and sustenance (Social Entrepreneurship) do not demand much debate, the social enterprise dimension of the impact is yet to be fully established and explored. In recent past, social entrepreneur has been labelled as special person, as it happened in the early days of entrepreneurship research when most of the scholars almost accepted that they have some special traits. Social entrepreneurs are special breed of leaders (Dees, 2001). Gradually the ‘black-hole’ in social entrepreneurship was explored and scholars reported creation of social enterprise is a rational process. In this way, the mystique of social entrepreneurship became ‘the science’ of social enterprise creation. Being a multidisciplinary and emerging area, it also added to the debate on definitions. Universalized definition is hardly possible, as social entrepreneurship is an ‘essentially contested concept (ECC)’, which includes various sub-concepts within it (Choi and Majumdar, 2013). Thus, scholars have defined it in their own ways as per their own understanding. Though the intensity of debate is reaching to a point of convergence despite varied perspectives, those who believe social entrepreneurship has potential to address several problems being encountered by a large part of population started posing hard questions on business model, processes and values which could come handy for the practitioners to adopt. Helmsing (2015, p. 51) also clearly mentioned, “a dominant current in the social entrepreneurship literature glorifies the individual entrepreneur while underemphasizing the importance of social process. Social enterprise is dependent on the social entrepreneurs’ civic engagement in mobilizing support. This engagement is critical for the economic, social, and political sustainability of the social enterprise. For social entrepreneurship to enjoy success in a sustained manner, it must first and foremost be 'social'." Sense of urgency is evident. We believe, the time has come to move fast to plug-in the knowledge gaps and find answers to the processes which can create sustainable economic, social and environmental values.

In this pretext, the Centre for Social Entrepreneurship of School of Management and Labour Studies at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai propose to organise South Asia Conference on ‘Social Enterprise - Values and Processes’ from January 08 to 10, 2020 at its Mumbai Campus.

The context of the Conference would be South Asia. India being a major political and economic entity in South Asia has strong influence on the developmental discourse of South Asia. South Asia or Southern Asia is a term used to represent the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan SAARC countries and, for some authorities, adjoining countries to the west and east. Topographically, it is dominated by the Indian Plate, which rises above sea level as Nepal and northern parts of India situated south of the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush. South Asia is bounded on the south by the Indian Ocean and on land (clockwise, from west) by West Asia, Central Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. The current territories of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka form South Asia. In fact, several South Asian countries of today were parts of India till few decades ago. Though the political system divides them geographically, they have common issues and interests to pursue the development agenda. Instead of deliberating on development discourse from the perspective of India (as a country) it would be appropriate come together to discuss and debate on regional development of South Asia. In wider sense this is also in alignment with the ideology of inclusive growth and development of all. The core agenda would be social enterprise.

While we invite the scholars and practitioners to come forward to submit their works for discussion and deliberations we propose the following questions as pointers,

  • South Asia as Context
    1. What are the economy, polity and developmental issues?
    2. How are the social enterprise movement?
    3. What is happening?
  • South Asia as Construct
    1. What are the country specific dimensions and variables supportive or otherwise in social enterprise creation?
    2. Are there any fundamental differences in these variables?
    3. Do we find some patterns or trends?
  • Social Enterprise as means to solve social and environmental problems
    1. How are social enterprises offering new hope to solve social and/or environmental problems?
    2. Are there other models or ways complementing the social enterprises to enhance values?
    3. Which are the contexts/areas of the development processes in which social enterprises have better answers over the other methods?
  • Social Enterprise creation processes
    1. What are the ways in social enterprise creation?
    2. Are there any patterns or trends?
    3. Is the process of social enterprise creation context dependant especially in South Asia?
  • Social Enterprise Design
    1. Is legal structure critical for social enterprise performance?
    2. What are essential design elements of high performing social enterprise?
    3. Why and how does governance influence social enterprise performance?
  • Social Enterprise sustenance processes
    1. What are the sustenance parameters social enterprises?
    2. What are the ways to sustain the impact of social enterprise?
    3. Are there any patterns or trends?
  • Value created by Social Enterprise
    1. What are measures for social enterprise value?
    2. Are the values principally guided by the funding or investing agencies?
    3. How to resolve stakeholders interests in value creation?
  • Neo liberal economy and Social Enterprise - questions to be answered
    1. Is CSR the answer to social enterprise growth?
    2. Are social enterprise about yet another ways to good charity or there are some sector or domain specific approaches?
    3. How to design inclusive (and exclusive) value chain?

These are indicative areas for discussion.

We invite papers, both theoretical and empirical, that focus on the research themes outlined above. We also invite delegates interested in participating in these deliberations with no paper submission. We are particularly interested in conceptual paper, case-studies, large sample size studies, and understanding the Processes and Values in the field of social entrepreneurship. Authors must submit an extended abstract (Background, objectives and research methodology) in about 2000 words to Professor Satyajit Majumdar (email id tiss.cse@tiss.edu) not later than July 15, 2019. PhD scholars and junior researchers are encouraged to submit their research proposals. Work in progress research of the PhD scholars will also be considered provided if their works fall under the themes outlined above and they would be in a position to submit substantial work at the time of submission of full papers. Relevance of papers, quality of objectives/ research questions and robust methodology would be the critical parameters for selection of the papers in the Conference. The Abstract must also contain authors’ names, institutional affiliations, contact number, email and postal address. Authors will be notified of acceptance or otherwise by July 31, 2019. They will be required to submit the full paper by September 30, 2019.

Important dates

  • Submission of Extended Abstract in the prescribed structure : July 15, 2019
  • Notification on acceptance of the Extended Abstract : July 31, 2019
  • Submission of Full Paper (First Draft) : September 30, 2019
  • Notification of Acceptance (First Draft) : October 15, 2019
  • Submission of Revised Full Paper : November 30, 2019
  • Notification of Acceptance (Revised Paper) : December 15, 2019
  • Powerpoint Presentation Submission : December 30, 2019
  • South Asian Conference : January 8-10, 2020

References

  • Bornstein, D., and Davis, S. (2010). Social Entrepreneurship: What everyone need to know?, New York: OXFORD University Press.
  • Choi, N., & Majumdar, S. (2013). Social entrepreneurship is an essentially contested concept: Opening a new avenue for systemic future research. Journal of Business Venturing, 29(3), 363-376.
  • Dees, J. G. (2001). The meaning of social entrepreneurship. Accessed on 28 Feb 2019, 2019 from https://centers.fuqua.duke.edu/case/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2015/03/Article_Dees_MeaningofSocialEntrepreneurship_2001.pdf
  • Helmsing, A.H.J. (2015). Conditions for Social Entrepreneurship. The International Journal of Social Quality, 5(1), 51-66
  • Nicholls, A. (2006). Introduction. In A. Nicholls (Ed.), Social entrepreneurship: New models of sustainable change (pp. 1-35). New York: OXFORD University Press.