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Two top awards for social enterprise paper

Laura Claus, PhD candidate at Cambridge Judge, wins OMT Best International Paper and the prestigious All-Academy Carolyn Dexter Award at annual meeting of the Academy of Management.

(Photo taken by Laura Claus on her field trip to Tanzania)

Laura Claus, a PhD candidate at Cambridge Judge Business School, won the OMT Best International Paper Award and the Carolyn Dexter Award at the 2017 annual meeting of the Academy of Management in Atlanta, Georgia, for her paper on the challenges facing social enterprises in developing countries.

Laura Claus on her field trip

The OMT Best International Paper award is sponsored by the Organization and Management Theory Division of the Academy of Management, and recognises research regarding themes and content of interest internationally.

The Carolyn Dexter Award for Best International Paper is sponsored by the International Theme Committee of the Academy of Management, and is presented to the paper that “best meets the objective of internationalising the Academy.” The award is selected through a five-stage review process of independent committees and considers paper submissions of over 9,000 academy attendees.

“Papers are considered for this prestigious award if they offer new insights, are rich in observation and employ creative methodologies,” says the Academy of Management. “Papers receiving this honour typically reflect topics that are not in the US mainstream, but are important in other countries’ research traditions, and whose theme and content reflect an awareness of business and management outside of domestic boundaries.”

Laura’s winning paper, entitled “Hakuna matata or when cultures collide: social entrepreneurship in rural Africa”, looks at how, despite promising conditions and initial success, social enterprises can fail in foreign developing contexts. The paper used data on Villages for Africa (VFA), a social enterprise that provided “macro-credits” to groups of villages in rural Tanzania.

The paper says:

The increased sense of cultural ownership that villagers displayed for VFA’s development intervention led to a normative collision of cultures and forced VFA to abandon its operations in the region.