Published in: International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing
Cited as: Grant, S, Palakshappa, N. Social enterprise push or corporate social responsibility pull? The mainstreaming of fair trade. Int J Nonprofit Volunt Sect Mark. 2018; 23:e1625.
Social enterprise organizations and activities combine market‐oriented approaches with social aspirations, whereas corporate social responsibility strategies seek to integrate social aspects into core business strategies. The rise in social enterprise activity at the business end of the spectrum raises questions about how, where, and why social enterprise and corporate social responsibility might overlap. Through a review of literature, we demonstrate how the mainstreaming or corporatization of fair trade activity provides an example of this overlap. The tensions between the push of social aspirations within fair trade and the pull of commercial imperatives are highlighted. From a marketing viewpoint, a social enterprise push strategy is shown as typically undertaken from an organization perspective, whereas pull strategies in marketing are typically customer driven. We demonstrate that influences from both social enterprise and corporate social responsibility are evident in fair trade mainstreaming processes, although the extent to which each “pushes” or “pulls” varies across circumstances and interpretations.
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