Social enterprises (SEs) have an increasingly important role in developing more equitable societies worldwide. The capabilities of SEs are an important driver of their performance, but research in this area is still emerging, and the link between capabilities and performance has yet to be examined. By drawing on the dynamic capabilities perspective, it is suggested in this study that absorptive capacity—an organization’s ability to absorb, assimilate, and apply knowledge—affects a SE’s performance indirectly via its marketing capabilities. Using data from Hong Kong and Taiwanese social enterprises (n = 109), a set of hypotheses related to the capabilities–performance linkage were tested. The results show that the marketing capabilities of SEs mediated the relationship between absorptive capacity and financial performance. However, absorptive capacity was not associated with improved social performance via marketing capabilities. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of the findings and directions for future research.
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2020|
- social enterprise
- social entrepreneurship
- Hong kong