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Exploring Participatory Management in Social Enterprise Practice: Evidence from Chile

Muñoz, Cristian A.; Dávila, Ana María; Mosey, Simon; Radrigán, Mario

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Cristian A. Muñoz

Ana María Dávila

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Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Mario Radrigán


Although evidence shows that it is challenging to implement, many authors state that participatory management is a distinctive attribute of social enterprises. This paper presents case study research exploring how participatory management is manifest in Chile, a country where a paternalistic and autocratic management style prevails thereby constraining the adoption of more collaborative approaches. We found that a majority of the twenty social enterprises considered, despite having very different sizes, governance structure and activity sectors, involved employees and stakeholders in shared decision-making processes. Participatory management was exhibited in distinctive and diverse ways ranging from common agreement on strategic decisions through to the presentation of new proposals by members. We conclude that social enterprises in Chile differ from conventional enterprises not only in their focus on trying to solve social problems, but also in the fact that they may provide a vehicle to promote more innovative and participatory approaches to decision making.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 25, 2021
Online Publication Date Jun 18, 2021
Publication Date 2021-10
Deposit Date Jan 12, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jun 19, 2022
Journal VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations
Print ISSN 0957-8765
Electronic ISSN 1573-7888
Publisher Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 32
Issue 5
Pages 1096-1112
Keywords Strategy and Management; Public Administration; Sociology and Political Science; Business and International Management
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