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Societal Entrepreneurship contextualized: The dark and bright sides of Fair Trade
Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
2011 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The paper is based on a study of how the Swedish Fair Trade textile company Oria interplays with other organizations such as business customers, Fair Trade suppliers in India, and NGOs, and how they act as societal entrepreneurs to change the situation in India as regards social and environmental issues. The aim is to understand how different organizations and companies acting in different contexts like Sweden and India work to change the business society according to the idea of Fair Trade. Both dark and bright sides emerge from the results of the actors’ behaviour. The study shows that the societal entrepreneurship processes of Fair Trade in Sweden and India are dependent on actions driven by the actors’ contextualized values and norms. The Swedish actors focus on Western management models such as standards and certifications, since they regard control and legitimacy as important. The Indian Fair Trade supplier adapts to the standards and certifications, but the dark side of his adaption could be explained as postcolonial coercive forces. A brighter side is the supplier’s ability to understand and combine the possibilities in both the European and Indian contexts. A challenging perspective on societal entrepreneurship is expressed in the Fair Trade paradox and is shown by the identity dilemmas the CEO of the Fair Trade company Oria struggles with in her daily practice of entrepreneurship.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Fair Trade, societal entrepreneurship, Context, post colonialism, translation
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Industrial Economics and Organisations
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-14708OAI: diva2:532566
8th Annual NYU-Stern Conference of Social Entrepreneurship, November 2-4, New York University, USA: Stern School of Business.
Organisering av samhällsentreprenörskap i Sverige
Available from: 2012-06-13 Created: 2012-06-11 Last updated: 2012-06-13Bibliographically approved

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