Literature Review on a Sustainable Social Economy

New Zealand Community Economic Development Trust

Author +
Di Jennings

Year: 2012

This literature review is the starting point for a significant piece of research that aims to find out the success factors, the barriers, and what is needed – to build a sustainable social economy in New Zealand. The research is funded by the Lotteries Community Research Fund, and is being carried out by the New Zealand Community Economic Development Trust, with support and supervision from the Unitec Institute of Technology.
The literature review combines a practitioner perspective with an exploration of academic literature.  Sources include a selection of international and New Zealand based literature canvassed through access to the Unitec library and a general web search.  The social economy is an emergent area, and the language is often confusing with little agreement in the literature on definitions of key concepts. For this reason, the review takes a “broad church” approach to the subject and explores the following related concepts:
  • Community Economic Development (CED)
  • Social Economy
  • Social Enterprise
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Social Innovation
  • Community Ownership of Assets
  • Social Finance and Investment
  • Social Value and Impact Assessment
The above terms are all at a relatively early stage of theoretical development. Crossing ideological boundaries and analytical pluralism are among the characteristics of the literature that has addressed the above phenomena to date. The literature review provides a broad overview and context for their emergence both internationally and within New Zealand, and describes the proposed research and its anticipated contribution to the development of  knowledge in New Zealand.