Signalling methods between social enterprises in Indonesia and global mission-aligned impact investors
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 18:29 authored by Joanna Vogeley
This qualitative research study examined signalling methods (primarily via digital communication platforms/websites) between social enterprises in Indonesia, third-party organisations based in Singapore and global mission-aligned impact investors based in Australia. Social enterprises are widely studied in various disciplines, including management, but there is little literature on signalling methods among all actors who are participating in the emerging impact investing milieu. Social enterprises are business-like entities that aim to positively impact communities while simultaneously making a profit. Global mission-aligned impact investors look beyond financial returns and their impact investments allow social enterprises to scale and create a larger impact. In the past, these two actors have experienced communication difficulties when connecting across digital environments. Signals are often miscommunicated and information is not conveyed, which can lead to unsuccessful resource acquisition. This research focused on three countries in the Asia-Pacific region (developed countries Australia, Singapore and developing Indonesia). The countries in the region offer distinct diversity and include leading entrepreneurial economies. In its first stage, the research examined and critiqued existing signalling methods and identified a third actor, the connector organisation that played a critical role in the signalling process. This triangular partnership is more complex than a simple association. Thus, this research study developed dimensions of a preliminary framework to improve signalling processes that contribute to the storytelling of social enterprises and navigate their way to find a suitable global mission-aligned impact investor. In its second stage, this research study developed key characteristics of impact investing which were applied to Australia and Singapore (representing the developed world) and Indonesia (representing the developing world). In addition, this research study also proposed a new definition of impact investing. This research study used theoretical and also purposeful sampling to select organisations. Data were collected from 37 participants in Australia, Singapore and Indonesia. The study found evidence that a triangular partnership and particular signalling approaches facilitate the competitive advantage of social enterprises and the maturation of impact investing.