Published in: International Journal of Information Management
Cited as: Lalit Pankaj, Priya Seetharaman,
The balancing act of social enterprise: An IT emergence perspective,
International Journal of Information Management,
Volume 57, 2021, 102302, ISSN 0268-4012, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2020.102302.
The significance of IT in the context of non-digital social enterprises (SEs) and its influence on the viability of such SEs have been less studied themes in information systems research. In the era of ubiquitous IT, SEs have increasing pressures to cope with the ever-dynamic technological domain while balancing their dual objectives. Data from a single revelatory case of Jaipur Rugs (JR), an SE situated in a developing country context (India), is used to fathom the peculiarities of the SE context with a focus on the sociomaterial phenomena of IT emergence. Using the three fundamental notions of sociomateriality theory (relationality, performativity, and practice) this interpretive study understands the mechanisms underlying the SE’s attempt to balance its financial and social sustainability objectives. Through the innovative use of IT, the SE establishes and maintains shared value, yielding stability and efficiency to the business (financial viability) while simultaneously ensuring scalability and effectiveness of their social impact. This study strengthens the perspective of IT as an emergent phenomenon situated in sociomaterial practices and fills a gap in organizational literature by examining such phenomenon in the rich context of SEs where achieving the balance between dual goals is increasingly dependent on non-human (IT) agents.
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