Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2021

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Department

Business

First Advisor

Dr. Satish V. Nargundkar

Second Advisor

Dr. Subhashish Samaddar

Third Advisor

Dr. Aaron Baird

Abstract

Recent world events have reignited awareness and conversations about income inequality across the world and even in the richest country on the planet, the United States. Social unrest and a pandemic have thrust the staggering gap between the haves and the have-nots front and center and become a part of regular public discourse – specifically as it pertains to those who are considered corporate benefactors versus the production mechanism, i.e. the workers. Attempts to remedy some of the societal ills sowed by capitalism have been put forth by corporations via various initiatives and activities known as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). However, CSRs while proven to generate positive associations, are voluntary and often serve more of the interest of those who control the funding and do not necessarily benefit the employees or society at large. This leads us to question if and how it is even possible for CSR in the form of Social Enterprise to exist sustainably within a capitalistic economy. This research is a qualitative case study designed to investigate an exemplar social enterprise operating in the United States, Chime Solutions. The research examines how such an entity is able to be developed and survive the natural tensions that exists between growing profit for owners versus creating an inclusive economy and seeks to produce a generalizable framework for establishing and anchoring for-profit companies that also benefit their employees and communities in an inclusive manner. The study also finds that research conducted in using social entrepreneurship to develop inclusive economies in emerging markets may be generalizable for efforts to create an inclusive economy within an existing fully developed capitalistic economy.

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