The context and enactment of faith-based social entrepreneurship : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand

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Massey University
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Faith-based organisations have been at the forefront of efforts to meet human need and effect positive social change for centuries, and they continue to make significant contributions to social welfare. However, a paucity of empirical research into the nature of faith-based social entrepreneurship limits knowledge and theory development and hinders the effectiveness of faith-based initiatives. In response, this thesis explores how a religious worldview intersects with values, gender and institutional logics to influence social entrepreneurial activity. The thesis thereby aims to develop new theoretical insights into the contextual embeddedness of the process of social entrepreneurship. Qualitative, interpretive research based on a social constructionist paradigm was conducted to explore how a religious faith context influences the enactment of social entrepreneurship. Comparative multiple case studies of eight social entrepreneurial organisations located in the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam were undertaken during the period 2016-18. Faith-based, faith-inspired and secular organisations participated in the research. Multilevel thematic analysis of data employed theoretical lenses of universal human values, gender and institutional logics. The research showed that faith-based social entrepreneurship is a distinct, contextually embedded expression of social entrepreneurship. Findings suggest that a religious worldview, values and gender are discrete contexts that influence the what, where, how, who, when and why omnibus contexts in which social entrepreneurship is enacted. In a religious worldview context, social entrepreneurial organisations respond not only to well-documented social welfare and commercial logics but also to a religious metalogic. Consequently, faith-based social entrepreneurial organisations illuminate how organisations experience institutional complexity and manage paradoxical interlogic tensions. The key insight and contribution of the thesis is that contexts of a Christian religious worldview and gender underscore the values-based nature of social entrepreneurship. Further, these contexts reveal the influence of faith, altruistic love and the logic of gratuitous giving on how social entrepreneurship is experienced and enacted.
Social entrepreneurship, Religious institutions, Church and social problems, Southeast Asia