Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Assessing the potential of social enterprises through social network analysis: Evidence from Albania

Imbert, Enrica and Morone, Piergiuseppe and Bigi, Francesca (2016): Assessing the potential of social enterprises through social network analysis: Evidence from Albania.

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Abstract

Organizations falling within the category of ‘social enterprises’ are rapidly expanding in developing and transition countries, representing an innovative instrument for poverty reduction and endogenous development. However, economic long-term sustainability remains a major problem. Acquisition of knowledge is then claimed as a key issue for their competiveness and survival in the market. A critical factor for implementing successful knowledge transfer relates to the creation of well-connected networks of relationships. Stable and collaborative contacts among social entrepreneurs also allow more effective coordination, reducing the risk of dispersed and fragmented initiatives. This paper investigates the Albanian social enterprise sector, focusing on their network of relationships (i.e. social enterprises’ networks and supporting actors’ networks) by means of a social network analysis. Results are based on empirical evidence collected at the firm level from organizations operating in the Tirana and Scutari regions, the heart of the country’s economic growth engine. Visual social network investigation along with networks’ correlation analysis have showed that Albanian social enterprises are poorly aware of advantages arising from their network of relationships, still showing low entrepreneurial attitudes.

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