Diversity management for innovation in social enterprises in the UK

R. Bridgstock, F. Lettice, M.F. Özbilgin, A. Tatli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the linkages between diversity management (DM), innovation and high performance in social enterprises. These linkages are explicated beyond traditional framing of DM limited to workforce composition, to include discussions of innovation through networked diversity practices; reconciliation; and funding options. The paper draws upon a UK-based national survey and the case study data. Multiple data collection methods were used, including semi-structured interviews, questionnaires and workshops with participant observation. NVivo and SPSS software packages were utilized in order to analyse the qualitative and quantitative data, respectively. We used thematic coding and cropping techniques in analysing the case studies in the paper. A broad range of conflicting and supporting literature was enfolded into the conversations and discussion. The paper demonstrates that social enterprises exhibit unique characteristics in terms of size and location, as well as their double remit to add value both economically and socially. As a conclusion, we argue for social enterprises to consider options for DM in the interests of maximization of innovation and business performance. We contend that further research is needed to describe how social entrepreneurs draw upon their various 'diversity resources' in the process of innovation. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-574
Number of pages18
JournalEntrepreneurship & Regional Development
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2010

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