Johanna Mair

Johanna Mair
Hertie School

Professor

About

134
Publications
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13,147
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September 2012 - March 2020

Publications

Publications (134)
Chapter
Insufficient access to medicines is a persistent global problem that affects billions of people in low- and middle-income countries. In this chapter, we use access to medicines as a case to understand how business can become instrumental in making progress on persistent and global problems we associate with sustainable development. We examine the e...
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Social innovation is a fast-growing field of practice that has caught the attention of management and entrepreneurship scholars. The recent excitement surrounding “open social innovation” contests raises the question of what makes social innovation solutions successful contenders in these ubiquitous contests. We used uniquely assembled data, includ...
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Organizations across sectors appear to be shifting their ambitions from solving social problems to changing entire social systems. This phenomenon offers a timely opportunity to revisit what came to be known as the third mandate of organizational theory. In this paper we interrogate how organizational scholarship can productively explore and theori...
Chapter
Sozialunternehmertum bezieht sich auf die innovative Nutzung wie Kombination von Ressourcen zur Bewältigung sozialer Probleme und Bedürfnisse. Wir zeichnen Debatten um die Definition von Sozialunternehmertum nach und stellen institutionellen Wandel und die Verfolgung vielfältiger Ziele als Schlüsselmerkmale von Sozialunternehmertum heraus. Auf Basi...
Article
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explain how and why firms configure copyright practices when confronted with state-sanctioned laws and informal customs projected by local ethnic or religious communities. Design/methodology/approach: A multi-case inductive study of four film-producing organizations within the Nigerian film industry (i.e....
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Given rampant economic inequality, social exclusion and overconsumption, organizing in markets increasingly focuses on leveraging commercial activity for a social purpose. Alternative forms of organizing have developed to overcome the deficiencies of contemporary capitalism. They have become prevalent in numerous institutional contexts through type...
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社会创新是一个快速发展的实践领域,引起了不同管理学和创业学学者的关注。 最近围绕「开放式社会创新 (Open Social Innovation, OSI)」 比赛的讨论聚焦于那些能在这些普遍的比赛中脱颖而出的关键。我们的团队采用组合数据,包括来自外部评估者的数据,分析在扶贫领域的OSI比赛(n=150)的成功因素。研究发现,与企业有网络和有商业导向的参加者在比赛中胜出机会较大。同时,社会创新意念的实用性和创新性均是胜出的关键。是次探索性质研究提供了一些早期见解,加深人们对这个正在蓬勃发展的社会创新领域的理解和认识。
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社會創新是一個快速發展的實踐領域,引起了不同管理學和創業學學者的關注。 最近圍繞「開放式社會創新 (Open Social Innovation, OSI)」 比賽的討論聚焦於那些能在這些普遍的比賽中脫穎而出的關鍵。我們的團隊採用組合數據,包括來自外部評估者的數據,分析在扶貧領域的OSI比賽(n=150)的成功因素。研究發現,與企業有網絡和有商業意向的參加者在比賽中勝出機會較大。同時,社會創新意念的實用性和創新性均是勝出的關鍵。是次探索性質研究提供了一些早期見解,加深人們對這個正在蓬勃發展的社會創新領域的理解和認識。
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Research has often underestimated the pervasive and global occurrence of informality because studies largely define informality as illegal economic practices. This study adopts a multidimensional view of informality to explain how and why firms habitually improvise even when they do not experience unexpected or extreme eventualities. We addressed t...
Technical Report
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Das Open Social Innovation Experiment #WirvsVirus mobilisierte Menschen aus allen Bereichen der Gesellschaft (Zivilgesellschaft, Verwaltung und privatem Sektor) um gemeinsam an der Bewältigung der Covid-19 Krise zu arbeiten. Das Programm bestand aus einem Sprint (der Hacka-thon zur Ideenentwicklung) und einem Marathon (Umsetzungsprogramm zur Unters...
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Services that are especially suited to being offered via online labor platforms, such as cleaning, driving and tutoring, are frequently performed in an informal way, especially in emerging-market countries. The informal economy is thus important for recruiting workers for labor platforms. Platform use, however, requires formal service provision, wh...
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In this chapter, we assess the link between scaling, control and organizational achievements. We argue that control is essential to coordinate organizational members towards a common and shared goal and to provide guardrails for scaling. We use the experience of the Aravind Eye Care System, a non-profit organization based in India providing eye car...
Technical Report
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We give an overview of survey data on Social Enterprises in Germany. The report features data collected in 2002 as a follow up of a survey conducted in 2015. The data will be used for informing policy making and for establishing a data base on social enterprises across several countries (SEFORIS).
Chapter
Sozialunternehmertum bezieht sich auf die innovative Nutzung wie Kombination von Ressourcen zur Bewältigung sozialer Probleme und Bedürfnisse. Wir zeichnen Debatten um die Definition von Sozialunternehmertum nach und stellen institutionellen Wandel und die Verfolgung vielfältiger Ziele als Schlüsselmerkmale von Sozialunternehmertum heraus. Auf Basi...
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Social enterprises have long been considered ideal settings for studying hybrid organizing due to their combination of social and economic goals and activities. In this chapter, we argue that the current research focus on hybrid organizing foregrounds the paradox, conflicting logics, and multiple identities associated with the pursuit of multiple g...
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The idea of “sharing instead of owning” – though it is not new – is currently experiencing a revival and becoming a major trend in modern (business) life. It constitutes the defining principle of the so-called sharing economy, characterized by peer-to-peer-based sharing of access to goods and services, coordinated through information- and communica...
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Social enterprises address social problem by means of markets. Over the last two decades they have become increasingly popular across geographies. During this time open contestation and ideological debates over the promise, intention and meaning of social entrepreneurship have dominated public discourse but also inhibited the development of a solid...
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Social enterprises are organisations that pursue a social mission using market mechanisms. From a policy perspective, they are promising vehicles to create both social and economic value for society in times when public funds are shrinking and the financial viability of charities and non-profit organisations (NPOs) is increasingly at stake. From a...
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We argue that accounts of relationships among actors, actorhood and institutions are predominantly based on a spatial metaphor of actors operating within institutions. We outline how an inversion of this metaphor – i.e. the perspective that institutions inhabit actors – may prove generative for theory, particularly with respect to recent discussion...
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Literature on categories recognizes that in the early stages of a category, ambiguity can arise from divergent frames used to define the category. Yet it also largely expects this ambiguity to be either temporary, or else detrimental to the survival and evolution of the category. In this study, we demonstrate and explain how, alternatively, categor...
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This article explains how relational activities affect the design of seemingly paradoxical contractual arrangements among groups of channel intermediaries in Nigeria. The study used a grounded theory approach to investigate and analyze the contractual processes of three groups of channel intermediaries representing three diverse industries. Finding...
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Integrated hybrid organizations, for instance social enterprises that pursue both social and economic goals through a single activity, are seen by many as promising vehicles to create social value while remaining economically sustainable. At the same time, they are said to run the risk of mission drift—losing sight of their social mission while nav...
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In this introduction, the authors outline some critical reflections on the sociology of knowledge within management and organization theory. Based on a review of various works that form a sociology of organizational knowledge, the authors identify three approaches that have become particularly prominent ways by which scholars explore how knowledge...
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In 1995 Iftekhar Enayetullah and Abu Hasnat Md. Maqsood Sinha founded Waste Concern to research and develop solutions to the problem of waste in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Over the years they established a number of companies and grew nationally and internationally. They also pioneered two Clean Development Mechanism projects under the Unite...
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We are currently witnessing a new wave of the digital economy. A prime example is the sharing economy where an organization operates a platform for its online community, the sum of individuals who interact to exchange goods and services. The sharing economy blurs several boundaries of economic life – a fact that extant theory on platform organizing...
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For organizations in the sharing economy, the online communities they host, where users interact with each other, are core to value creation. Little is known, however, about the organizational practices used to govern these online communities – to encourage participation and to direct, coordinate, and control interactions strategically. We address...
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Human-driven changes on this planet have been giving rise to global warming, social instability, civil wars, and acts of terrorism. The existing system of global governance is not equipped to effectively address these enormous challenges. It is slow where one must move quickly, favors bureaucracy and politics over authentic deliberations and effect...
Technical Report
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This is an appendix to the article "United People: designing a new model of global governance", available here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324983643_United_People_Designing_a_New_Model_of_Global_Governance This appendix provides background information on the principles informing the UP model, creating councils within this model, get...
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Social innovation can be a powerful tool for positive change, but we need to rethink scaling as an integral part of the innovation process, explains Johanna Mair.
Book
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Floyd and Wooldridge's edited volume is a literal tour-de-force that guides the reader through the "wilds" of middle manager strategy process research. Chapters from top scholars examine all aspects of this complex field: from reviewing and updating its foundations; to evaluating current conflicts, gaps and methods; to identifying new, insightful t...
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To date, management research has paid little attention to dynamics of the sharing economy: how markets for sharing resources emerge and change, and the intended and unintended consequences of resource sharing. We propose a definition of the sharing economy that brings the role of organizations as infrastructure providers to the fore and helps us to...
Book
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Innovation and Scaling for Impact forces us to reassess how social sector organizations create value. Drawing on a decade of research, Christian Seelos and Johanna Mair transcend widely held misconceptions, getting to the core of what a sound impact strategy entails in the nonprofit world. They reveal an overlooked nexus between investments that mi...
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Scholars in strategy and entrepreneurship have discussed the benefits and difficulties of keeping ventures inside the firm versus separating them through divestitures and the balance between control and autonomy. Using an in-depth analysis of cases of partial divestitures, this study examines the organizational arrangement that arises from divestit...
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This study advances research on organizational efforts to tackle multidimensional, complex, and interlinked societal challenges. We examine how social inequality manifests in small-scale societies, and illustrate how it inheres in entrenched patterns of behavior and interaction. Asking how development programs can be organizing tools to transform t...
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The great challenge of sustainability is addressed by firms with varying levels of social and environmental responsibility and performance. Though traditionally, firms sought a balance, we argue that this is not enough. Rather, we advocate that the natural environment be the foundation on which society resides and the economy operates. Sustainable,...
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Academic and practitioner interest in how market-based organizations can drive positive social change (PSC) is steadily growing. This paper helps to recast how organizations relate to society. It integrates research on projects stimulating PSC—the transformational processes to advance societal well-being—that is fragmented across different streams...
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We investigate how an intermediary organization, PRADAN, introduces and promotes market-based activities in tribal villages as a means to improve the social and economic conditions of rural women and their families in two districts in India. We draw from the literature on institutional logics and focus on the strategies and activities of PRADAN – a...
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Hybrid organizations operate in a context of institutional plurality and enact elements of multiple, often conflicting institutional logics. Governance is highly relevant in navigating such an environment. This study examines how hybrid organizations set up their governance structures and practices. Building on survey data from 70 social enterprise...
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This article explores new forms of organizing (and organization creation) in relation to entrepreneurship and social transformation. In particular, in the dialogue that follows in this issue, we initiate a discussion regarding the ways through which social transformation is or can be related to community action and public and/or social entrepreneur...
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Over the past two decades, social entrepreneurship as a phenomenon has gained increased momentum and is widely recognized for its potential to address social needs or problems that too often fall through the gaps of our market and governance systems. This article presents social entrepreneurship as a powerful tool to shape and change institutions a...
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Organizational hybridity refers generally to the practice of integrating diverse or competing purposes, logics, or systems within a single organization. Consequently, the organization becomes the hybrid “offspring” of the ancestral groups, sectors, or philosophies from which it draws. Blending of goals or logics is not an entirely new phenomenon; i...
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PurposeSocial entrepreneurs create novel approaches to social problems such as poverty. But scaling these approaches to the dimension of the problem can be a difficult task. In the social enterprise sector, the subject of scaling has become a key dimension of organizational performance. This chapter advances the scholarly literature on the scaling...
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We extend research on informal economic activity and investigate why organizations adopt informal rules when formal ones exist and how and why patterns of defiance vary across organizations. We build on data from an in-depth study of four organizations operating in the Nigerian movie industry. We identify ambiguity of formal institutions as a major...
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We examine the challenges of governance and accountability facing organizations that pursue a social mission through the use of market mechanisms. We call such organizations socioeconomic hybrids because they combine market and social welfare logics in their activities. We distinguish between two ideal types of hybrid organizations — differentiated...
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This study illustrates how entrepreneurship may catalyze prosperity as well as peace in entrenched poverty–conflict zones. We bring to life a conceptualization of transformative entrepreneuring by assessing interrelationships between poverty and conflict indicators from the perspective of rural dwellers in Rwanda's entrepreneurial coffee sector. Ou...
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Actors who support dissimilar institutional models can overcome conflict and move toward mutually beneficial coexistence. To see how, we studied the emergence of venture philanthropy, a rationalized approach to organizational philanthropy in Europe. Our analysis leverages multiple sources of data and focuses on field-configuring events as settings...
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This research provides a quantitative exploration of the consequences of new entrepreneurial opportunity for rural dwellers in a poverty-conflict zone. Based on a field survey of 239 Rwandan individuals engaged in the high value-adding specialty coffee sector, we present an empirical model of how perceived improvements in economic and life satisfac...
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In this article, we use content and cluster analysis on a global sample of 200 social entrepreneurial organizations to develop a typology of social entrepreneuring models. This typology is based on four possible forms of capital that can be leveraged: social, economic, human, and political. Furthermore, our findings reveal that these four social en...
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Although most existing literature has focused on the motives and consequences of divestitures, we have little more than anecdotal evidence illustrating their design and implementation. Even less is known about the evolution of divestitures, especially when parent companies retain a relationship with the divested unit. Using a multi-method approach...
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Learning goals Upon completing this chapter, you should be able to accomplish the following: Understand the origins of the current momentum in measuring social impact Be familiar with key approaches Critically evaluate efforts to measure social impact
Technical Report
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Executive Summary The dimensions and complexities of global social and environmental problems are challenging the ability of social sector organizations to remain relevant. Supporting the ability of organizations to continuously innovate is therefore a prime mechanism by which funders can contribute to progress. This report informs a process leadin...
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Much effort goes into building markets as a tool for economic and social development; those pursuing or promoting market building, however, often overlook that in too many places social exclusion and poverty prevent many, especially women, from participating in and accessing markets. Building on data from rural Bangladesh and analyzing the work of...
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Resumen: Over the past few years, the question of how social enterprises can effectively scale their impact to reach people and communities has received increasing attention from various parties such as policy makers, governments, various organizational leaders and academics. In the organizational literature, the discussion has mainly revolved arou...
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Existing literature argues that divested units are unwanted and poor performers – yet evidence suggests that companies do divest well performing units, and often retain a relationship with them, especially in the quest for innovation. This article presents an exploratory case study to examine how a company structures the divestiture of an innovativ...
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This essay sets out to take stock of existing endeavors to conceptualize Social Entrepreneurship. We illustrate the context-specific nature of the phenomenon and derive implications for fostering social entrepreneurship as a positive force for social and economic development. The paper has two main objectives: first, to stimulate a productive agend...
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Social enterprise organizations (SEOs) arise from entrepreneurial activities with the aim to achieve social goals. SEOs have been identified as alternative and/or complementary to the actions of governments and international organizations to address poverty and poverty-related social needs. Using a number of illustrative cases, we explore how varia...
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While conventional knowledge sees restructuring of organizational architecture as a series of discrete, independent changes, recent evidence shows that companies may divested a unit, retain a relationship with it and eventually reacquire it. This study analyzes the process of restructuring organizational architecture. It examines how companies stru...
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The question of how social initiatives can effectively scale their impact to reach individuals and communities that benefit from their innovations has received increasing attention over the past few years. A number of scholars adopt a strategic perspective and investigate the mechanisms to scale social organizations (Bradach, 2003; Oster, 1996), wh...
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We investigate the challenge how the outcomes of innovation for inclusive growth, the novel organizational recipes, can be scaled to match the dimension of poverty. We conceptualize scaling as sustained event regularities between doing A and expected outcomes B. Building on a critical realist perspective, we develop an analytical framework of organ...
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In many developing countries those living in poverty are unable to participate in markets due to the weakness or complete absence of supportive institutions. This study examines in microcosm such institutional voids and illustrates the activities of an entrepreneurial actor in rural Bangladesh aimed at addressing them. The findings enable us to bet...
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Die Arbeit der indischen Organisation Gram Vikas zeigt, dass Social Entrepreneurs Institutionen nicht nur verändern, sondern auch neu schaffen. Diese Institutional Entrepreneurs können zentrale Akteure für einen institutionellen Wandel sein.