Theorizing and Strategizing with Models: Generative Models of Social Enterprises

Innovative business models in the philanthropic sphere.

Social entrepreneurship research often relies on presenting narratives of organizations that integrate various actors, actions, contextual elements and outcomes without a clear perspective on why these elements were selected and what can be learned from them.This paper provides a transparent and systematic process of modeling organizations and proposes a validity triangle that adequately integrates analytical, theoretical and ontological dimensions. An illustrative case study demonstrates the choices involved in a valid modeling process. It also illustrates the steps involved in building a generative model of a social enterprise that accounts for the mechanisms that explain how the focal organization achieves multiple strategic objectives.