Problematizing problem-solving methods for exploring the management of social enterprises

Jae Yu


A new form of strategic management is required for developing the social enterprise and appreciating the management of social enterprise from systemic perspectives. In this paper, we argue that participatory action research should focus on the process of problematization that explores the nature of the social enterprise (SE) in order to explore new sorts of “questions and problems” in given situations. Systemic perspectives enable us to appreciate systemic knowledge, which is the holistic understanding of complex nature of management of communities and organisational learning. In this paper, the process of problematization is demonstrated through the application of problem-solving approaches, that is, Beer’s Viable System Model (VSM) and Checkland’s soft systems methodology (SSM) to understand and create a business model for SE, facilitate debate amongst participants, and generate systemic knowledge about the transformational processes of social enterprise in Korea.


Strategic management; social enterprise; participatory action research, problematization; problem-solving approach; Viable System Model; SSM

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