- Position:PhD Candidate
Entrepreneurship in the care for the elderly.
PhD Project -
Creative with care: Strategic Entrepreneurship in the Non-Profitsector
Promotor: Martin Boekholdt (FSW/ORG), Tom Elfring (FEWEB)
Daily supervisor: Christine Teelken
Time frame: January 2007 - December 2012
Non-profitorganizations are, by nature, situated between state, market and civil society. Non-profit organizations delivering public services are facing increasing turbulence, due to major changes in the social, political and institutional environment. Public management reforms have blurred distinctions between public and private sector. To survive they must find ways to compete in markets that now often span all three sectors. Research shows that non-profits are not well equipped to engage in competition. They are challenged now to transform their administrative focus by restructuring themselves into innovative organizations that are able to take advantages of opportunities. Innovation enables non-profitorganizations to anticipate and properly respond to these changes and is essential to the improvement of public services. Innovation is necessary for creating public value, not an optional luxury. Organizations are poised-to take advantage of the existing incongruities. Changes are offering both opportunities and threats, thus, fostering a rich environment for entrepreneurship. Research on the nature and role of entrepreneurship within non-profit organizations is limited and a coherent theoretical framework is lacking.
Care for the elderly
Changes in the social, political and institutional environment in Europe have led to a restructuring of the health care system. This makes the health care sector an interesting field of research. The (re)organization of the long-term care for the elderly has our specific attention. They are especially challenged because the increasing aging population with the accompanying need to increase the volume of services provided is coupled with the changing character of the aged population, reflecting the diversity of needs from the active senior, to the “growing dependence”, to the frail aged segments.
Research on strategic entrepreneurship, which is concerned with balancing the exploration of new opportunities and the exploitation of old certainties, is burgeoning in the profit-sector. This research is offering valuable insights in relevant organizational conditions; yet it does not capture the unique characteristics of non-profit organizations. The most striking feature of the non-profit organizations is its mission to create social value for the public good rather than profit for shareholders. Another important distinction lies in the different environmental dynamics. Their environment is characterised by a different relation with the (multiple) stakeholders and the prominent political influence.
Research is needed on the influence of these factors on the process of entrepreneurship and the ways in which entrepreneurial behaviour is manifested in non-profits. The types of innovations produced and types of risks undertaken warrant richer descriptions and categorizations.
The purpose of this study is to contribute to both the public services and the entrepreneurship literature by researching how strategic entrepreneurship in non-profit (health) organizations is developing. This study in nursing homes and homes for the elderly provides a better understanding of the processes and (f)actors that stimulate and constrain entrepreneurship in non-profits. We are expecting to gain rich data by doing empirical research in organizations that provides long-term care for the elderly in the Netherlands. In this multiple-case study we compare how initiatives develop and relate them to organizational conditions. We also explore the influence of mission and environment on the process.