Methods: This study incorporates a quantitative design to answer the research question: How does social entrepreneurship effect social work management practice? Using primary survey data collected from a nationally representative sample of nonprofit executive directors in Canada, structural equation modelling was employed to assess the psychometric properties of measures for social entrepreneurial orientation and social work management competencies. Following scale refinement, a multivariate regression was conducted, testing for significant effects of social entrepreneurial orientation (including social innovation, risk taking, proactiveness, and market engagement) on social work management competencies (including executive leadership, resource management, strategic management, and community collaboration). Individual and organization-level demographic variables were also collected to control for various effects.
Results: Confirmatory factor analysis found strong reliability and validity across measures, including the higher order latent constructs: social entrepreneurial orientation (χ2 = 656.792, df = 158, p = 0.0000; TLI = 0.908; CFI = 0.924; RMSEA = 0.064, with a 90% confidence interval of 0.054 and 0.074, p = 0.012; CA=0.922) and social work management competencies (χ2 = 324.362, df = 388, p = 0.0000; TLI = 0.902; CFI = 0.913; RMSEA = 0.052, with a 90% confidence interval of 0.045 and 0.058, p = 0.333; CA=.904). In multivariate regression, all four latent factors of social entrepreneurial orientation significantly predicted social work management competencies, including: social innovation (b=.215; p=0.003), risk taking (b=.198; p=0.037), proactiveness (b=.510; p=<0.000), and market engagement (b=.155; p=0.048). Likewise, the full measure of social entrepreneurial orientation positively and significantly predicted all four social work management competencies (including executive leadership, resource management, strategic management, and community collaboration) at the p=<.001 level.
Conclusions and Implications: Findings from this study support social work managers as they seek to maximize management practice competencies by engaging in entrepreneurial activities at the organization level. The framework provided by this research offers a management model for community-based nonprofit organizations which focuses on key elements of success in pursuing a social mission, including the pivotal roles of social innovation, risk taking, proactiveness, and market engagement activities. Knowledge generated by this research is intended to inform the development of high functioning nonprofits seeking to broaden social impact during a period of resource scarcity and uncertainty.