This research, done at the intersection of benevolent leadership style and for-profit social entrepreneurship, examines the research question: How does a benevolent leader, concerned for ecological sustainability, drive a for-profit social enterprise? Adopting a case approach, the phenomenon has been probed within the bounded context of SOS Organics—a for-profit social enterprise—located in a remote village of Uttarakhand state of India. The data was collected from multiple sources and thematic analysis was used to identify themes. The study produced three key findings. First, the study could extract two themes of benevolent leadership—striving for the common good and concern for others. Second, it could extend the understanding of social entrepreneurship by identifying two themes—social value creation and developing innovative business models. Third, it proposed a process framework by capturing the journey of SOS promoters towards the benevolent social entrepreneur over two decades. This study contributes to the literature on the intersection of benevolent leadership and social entrepreneurship by creating a deeper meaning of the constructs. Finally, the study offers suggestions for managers and practitioners to adopt a benevolent leadership style in the social entrepreneurship context to achieve their social mission.
Published in: FIIB Business Review