Academic journal article International Advances in Economic Research

Social Aspects of Business and Their Impact on the Potential Development and Performance of a Firm: Case Study of Norway

Academic journal article International Advances in Economic Research

Social Aspects of Business and Their Impact on the Potential Development and Performance of a Firm: Case Study of Norway

Article excerpt

JEL Classification D21 * M13 * O10

The purpose of this research is to investigate social entrepreneurship in the economic reality of companies through a literature review and case study of Norway. Based on a literature review dealing with the social economy and social business, this research looks at social enterprises from a non-traditional point of view and describes the unconventional manner in which social enterprises profit from society and the business economy concurrently. Qualitative research was conducted via a case study of a Norwegian social business (Astero). This research represents a unique way to describe social entrepreneurship in practice as a good example of cooperation between society and economics.

In today's understanding of the social economy, the term social business has two meanings. Currently, there are state-supported businesses aimed at employing disadvantaged people to create value for individuals and integrate them back into the local community. The other meaning, mostly historical, is of social business as a social enterprise. Its basic function resides in the fact that it has a clear owner. However, there exists a profit-sharing mechanism for employees permitting them to have some responsibility for and be involved in management and control. This is a very important change, since in classic capital enterprise the risk of loss is borne entirely by the owner (Tuckova et al., The Social Economy, Social Enterprises and Outline of Sustainability 2014).

Historically, the social economy was, from the perspective of economic theory, elaborated upon by two anti-capitalists, William Thompson (An Inquiry Into the Principles of the Distribution of Wealth Most Conducive to Humane Happiness Applied to the Newly Proposed System of Voluntary Equality of Wealth 1824) and John Francis Bray (The Coming Age Devoted to the Fraternisation and Advancement of Mankind Through Religious, Political and Social Reforms 1855) and previously by a bearer of the ideas of social economy, Robert Owen. Based on the available literature sources, the term 'social economy' was first introduced in the work of Charles Dunoyeer (Nouveau Traite d'Economie Sociale, et Deviendra en 1843 l'aeuvre Essentielle de sa Vie, La Liberte du Travail 1830) trying to break away from the traditional one-sided focus on economic capital while trying to shift the emphasis to the moral side of the economy. For better understanding, one should distinguish between the terms social economy and social entrepreneurship. Social economy includes all social enterprises "the purpose of which is to increase employment in the local conditions or to fulfil other requirements and objectives of the community", whereas social entrepreneurship is taken as a concrete activity "benefiting society and the environment" (Bednarikova and Francova, Study of the Infrastructure of the Social Economy in the Czech Republic 2011, pp. …

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