Published in: California Management Review
Cited as: Rangan, V. K., & Gregg, T. (2019). How Social Entrepreneurs Zig-Zag Their Way to Impact at Scale. California Management Review, 62(1), 53–76. https://doi.org/10.1177/0008125619876903
This article provides guidance to social entrepreneurs and their funders as they seek to advance the enterprise from startup to scale. It focuses on the evolution of four social entrepreneurs and their decision-making paths as they attempt to scale their respective organizations. It then develops a framework to understand how social entrepreneurs alternate between pursuing activities to increase the scale of their work and delivering social impact in a “zig-zagging” process.
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Before attempting to scale, the entrepreneur needs to ensure that their organization’s operating model is effective and efficient in addressing the mission at hand. Without it, more scaling brings on more deficits with respect to finances as well as the organization’s capabilities.