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Imprinting perspective on the sustainability of commitments to competing institutional logics of social enterprises

Sustainability. February 13, 2021

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Abstract

This study examines the conditions under which dual commitments to competing institutional logics, particularly a social vs. a commercial logic, are both important to organizational functioning for social enterprises. Using hand-collected data from a survey of 190 social enterprises in South Korea, we identify a reliable measure for the sustainability of competing logics. We also identify the factors associated with variation in a social enterprise’s capacity to sustain dual commitments to competing institutional logics. Using an imprinting perspective, we show that a social entrepreneur’s non-profit experience has a curvilinear effect on the sustainability of competing logics. Moreover, the non-linear effect of a social entrepreneur’s non-profit experience on the sustainability of competing logics is less profound in social enterprises with a highly ambivalent founder.

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