Original Research

Designing organisational effectiveness in social entrepreneurial enterprises

Adelaid M. Sheik, Thea J. Tselepis, Collin D. Reddy
The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management | Vol 15, No 1 | a728 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajesbm.v15i1.728 | © 2023 Adelaid M. Sheik, Thea J. Tselepis, Collin D. Reddy | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 March 2023 | Published: 20 September 2023

About the author(s)

Adelaid M. Sheik, Department of Business Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Thea J. Tselepis, SARChI: Entrepreneurship Education, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Collin D. Reddy, Department of Business Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Fundamental principles that encourage problem solving are included in the intersection between design thinking and systems thinking. In this study, we examined if these principles contribute to the nature of organisational effectiveness (OE) in the context of a social enterprise.

Aim: The objective of the study was to explore the nature of OE in social enterprises.

Setting: This exploratory qualitative study investigated the OE of social enterprises in South Africa.

Methods: A three-phased Delphi method was conducted by a panel of experts.

Results: Our findings indicate that the principles for the OE of social enterprises include, in particular, good, just, and useful services and/or products, as well as a satisfying human experience. In the context of a social enterprise, OE is therefore about the mission and resources of the enterprise. The enterprise can be viewed as making an impact when satisfying human (community and/or beneficiary) needs through useful products or services designed for good, and when promoting just relationships among and ethical conduct by all stakeholders.

Conclusion: The framework or principles for social enterprises’ OE may be used to guide leadership, governance of resources (such as finances), and training in solving ‘wicked problems’ in such ecosystems. It is recommended that social entrepreneurs also apply the framework.

Contribution: This paper offers four principles that are applicable when systems thinking overlaps with design thinking to guide the OE of social enterprises.


Keywords

design thinking; organisational effectiveness; systems thinking; social entrepreneurship; wicked problems

JEL Codes

L31: Nonprofit Institutions • NGOs • Social Entrepreneurship

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

Metrics

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