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INDIVIDUAL ACTION THROUGH SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS: THE CASE OF POVERTY

Project description

How organisations can scale up to empower impoverished communities

In the realm of management research, there is a knowledge gap when it comes to understanding organisations with social goals. This void becomes most pronounced in extreme cases like widespread poverty. In this context, the IATSO project, funded by the European Research Council, poised to tackle this challenge head-on. IATSO will explore what drives the growth and successful scaling of social organisations in settings of dire poverty and examine the factors influencing their social performance. Focused on the education sector in South Asia, it will aim to make a practical contribution to the global pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals, offering hope and insights for empowering those trapped in poverty.

Objective

There is arguably a lack of research on organizations with social goals in management. For an
extreme case, i.e. of poverty, Prahalad (2006) described compelling examples of innovative
organizations in South Asia, which he suggested served the poor. However, very little is known
about: 1) What factors ‘cause’ social organizations, for instance, in settings of extreme poverty, to
grow and scale up ‘successfully,’ and how and why?, and 2) What organizational factors influence
‘social performance’ for target groups, and how and why, and under which conditions (where and
when), and for whom? Building on insights from our earlier theoretical and empirical work on
networks, leadership, and learning, as well as our extensive pilot studies in India, we will explore
how and why social organizations grow and scale up, in relation to social outcomes for relevant
target groups, using mixed methods (a qualitative phase followed by a quantitative phase, to first
build and then test theory). We propose to study organizations in an extreme setting, where arguably,
social problems are worst: of poverty in South Asia, and picked the education sector given its
potential importance for enabling people to move out of poverty. We believe that a better
understanding of how and why organizations scale up successfully to enable target groups in poverty
to be more proactive is also relevant from a practical perspective. It is for instance at the heart of the
new Sustainable Development Goals, and it is our hope to make a contribution into this direction.

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Coordinator

LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE
Net EU contribution
€ 1 013 571,57
Address
Houghton street 1
WC2A 2AE London
United Kingdom

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Region
London Inner London — West Westminster
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
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Other funding
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (4)