Social Entrepreneurs, Socialization Processes, and Social Change: The Case of SEKEM
While research on the conditions that enable actors to implement divergent change has highlighted the importance of discourse in convincing others to adopt practices that diverge from the existing institutional environment, we do not know much about other aspects of the change implementation (Battilana, 2011; Battilana, Leca, & Boxenbaum, 2009). In this chapter, we argue that the everyday practices of people involved in and targeted by the social change eff orts might provide an important but understudied mechanism for implementing social change. More
specifi cally, we contend that socialization processes, which are meant to introduce and reinforce desired behaviors and values in organizational members (Van Maanen & Schein, 1979), likely play a key role in implementing change as they infl uence how organizational members enact institutions in their everyday practices (Battilana & Dorado, 2010). When engaging in social change, social entrepreneurs face the challenge of socializing people in ways that depart from the prevailing institutional environment in which they are embedded without jeopardizing social entrepreneurs’ legitimacy in that environment. Th is chapter explores processes employed by social entrepreneurs to maintain this delicate balance while implementing divergent change. How can they possibly simultaneously balance these tensions and accomplish signifi cant social change?