Inclusive governance in social enterprises in the Netherlands-a case study

A. Colenbrander, A. Argyrou, T. Lambooij, R.J. R.J. Blomme*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Web of Science)


An element that policymakers and academics often believe to be constitutive in the governance of a social enterprise is the use of inclusive and responsible decision-making processes. This entails the involvement of various categories of stakeholders. In this paper, a case study is used to explore how a work integration social enterprise based in the Netherlands, AutiTalent BV, has organized its governance. The Netherlands has not developed legislation specifically dealing with social enterprises, in contrast to many other EU Member States (16 out of 28), and it does not require, although it allows for, the establishment of inclusive governance. By examining how (national Dutch) law affects the governance of a work-integration-oriented social enterprise, the authors aim to contribute to emerging theory on participatory and inclusive governance of social enterprises - as a legal concept but also as an organizational concept - shaped by (tailor-made and/or ordinary) law. The case study reveals that the investigated work integration social enterprise has not set up formal inclusive governance, suggesting that a social enterprise may not be stimulated by legislation which allows but not requires the participation of stakeholders in decision making. At the same time, informal direct communication channels exist between the people who influence the decision-making processes and people from various stakeholder categories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-566
Number of pages24
JournalAnnals of Public and Cooperative Economics
Issue number4
Early online date6 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • AutiTalent
  • Social enterprises
  • corporate law
  • inclusive governance
  • stakeholders
  • the Netherlands


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