In an era when nonprofit and for-profit characteristics are blurring, to what extent do sector boundaries matter? Some research suggest that sector boundaries no longer matter. By exploring the perceptual differences of entrepreneurs practicing in each sector, this paper proposes that, in fact, there are important perceptual and symbolic differences between nonprofit and for-profit organizations. This paper makes four contributions to the field of social enterprise studies: first, it lends empirical support for the idea that issues have not blurred in the minds of practitioners; second, it identifies four areas entrepreneurs are likely to concentrate on when asked to evaluate the merits of practicing as a non-profit or for-profit form (including control, resources, performance, and public perceptions); third, it provides a tool that can be used by academics and policymakers to identify which sector characteristics are perceived by entrepreneurs as salient; and fourth, it raises new research questions that would help to further clarify the usefulness, relevance and significance of the approach and findings presented.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Sociology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Spencer, Robert E. M., "Speaking from Experience: How Do Entrepreneurs Evaluate the Merits of Practicing as a Non-Profit or For-Profit Form?" (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 4138.
social enterprise, nonprofit, for-profit, sector blurring, supply-side theory