Social entrepreneurship orientation and company success: the mediating role of social performance

Nazha Gali, Thomas Niemand, Eleanor Shaw, Mathew Hughes, Sasha Kraus, Alexander Brem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


We examine the impact of social entrepreneurship orientation (SEO), a behavioral measure of the social entrepreneurship of the organization, on the social and financial performance of a sample of Austrian firms. Despite growing research interests in social entrepreneurship, the field remains fragmented and this has led to calls for a careful examination of the implications of social entrepreneurship for firms. We draw on stakeholder theory and hybrid organizing to hypothesize that social performance mediates the SEO-financial performance relationship. By analyzing a sample of 1,156 companies, we find that the SEO-financial performance relationship is partially positively mediated by social performance even though the direct effect is negative. Our results show that social performance compensates for the otherwise negative effect SEO has directly with financial performance. We contribute to an understanding of the mechanisms by which an SEO affects firm performance and provide richer insights into the various aspects of performance. We discuss the future implications of our study and suggest promising avenues for further research on the SEO construct.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120230
Number of pages41
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Early online date4 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2020


  • social entrepreneurship orientation
  • hybrid organizing
  • social performance
  • financial performance
  • mediation


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