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The Study of Social Enterprise on the Perspective of Modern Philanthropy

Author: YangYi
Tutor: WangDianLi
School: Shandong University
Course: Administration
Keywords: traditional charity modern philanthropy social enterprise
CLC: D632.9
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 415
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Abstract


In this era of promoting social innovation, charity and philanthropy are also keeping with the time by advancing and embarking innovation. In fact, this advancing can be taken as a movement of emancipating the mind of modern philanthropic ideas. In the collision of traditional and modern thinking, it became an important topic to judge social issues, solve social dilemma and lead the social construction through the perspective of modern philanthropy.Social enterprise, which is a part of philanthropy innovation, is the typical representative of modern philanthropy. In recent years it has gained universal concern from academic area as well as practitioner area. But there is still no clear definition on social enterprise. Some people suggested that social enterprise is a form of a social innovation, others suggested it is a concept that guides the future direction of the non-profit organization, and still others question where the bottom line of social enterprises lies.This study, based on the strong problem consciousness, will focus on Meimei Guo’s case and reflect on the self-locating of Commerce System Red Cross of China. By answering the questions whether charity and commerce can cooperate, why and how does this work, this study tries to grasp the value, function, environment, basic framework and operation mechanism of social enterprise in the changing from traditional charity to modern philanthropy. This study, which is based on existing literatures and using revelation of organizational sociology as analyzing framework, clarifies the positioning of social enterprise and analyzes its dilemma; also, based on holistic governance model and using cross-boundary governance as principal line, it gives prospect of modern philanthropy and social enterprise under its horizon.Studies suggest that in the traditional concept, charity is "Give a fish" rather than "teach to fish", and is done only by the rich. Since the purpose of commercial activities is to pursue the maxim profit, charitable and commercial activities are not compatible, and completely separated. Modern philanthropy is a broader concept with a variety of participants and forms. From this perspective, charitable and commerce activities are not longer incompatible. Social enterprise is defined as "enterprise organization with the purpose of philanthropy", and is considered to be typical representative of "the socialized enterprise" or "the commercial society". Social enterprise is a type of organization or developing model which integrated commercial innovation and philanthropy innovation, and is characterized by its combing conflicting properties such as social and commercial, public welfare and profit. Microcosmically, it is a practice form of modern philanthropy; middlescopically, it is a set of social innovation path or theory; macroscopically, social enterprise is a concept reflecting a civil society management. In China, social enterprise is a newborn concept that is inevitably facing all kinds of difficulties. For instance, social enterprise hasn’t been recognized by majority, and not trusted by public, enterprises and government; it requires appropriate adaption to the Chinese culture, and it has difficulty in raising funding and recruiting staffs. In order to solve such difficulties, modern philanthropy should pay closer attention to cross-boundary governance; and social enterprises should remodel philanthropy cultural value, innovative commercial operating mechanism, and build cross-border partnerships.

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