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Actively Managing the Legitimacy of a Social Enterprise
Philippe Sprenger, Leanne Schoormans and Theo Camps
Utrecht: Berenschot/CBMO, 2011
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Social enterprises operate in a complex environment. They are involved with many stakeholders, all with their own wishes and expectations in terms of the social enterprise's performance. For administrators, this implies a continuous search for support for their decisions. A difficult task, because it is simply impossible to satisfy all stakeholders. This is further exacerbated by the fact that choices are diminishing, because financial resources are declining.

In terms of this issue, housing associations are in the lead group. In this sector in particular, financial resilience is rapidly declining, while expectations remain unabatedly high. Administrators and supervisory bodies are faced with the difficult task of ensuring that their association makes the right decisions in this context. Or, in other words, ensuring that the association's legitimacy stays intact. This book focuses on this sector without losing sight of the broader perspective of the social enterprise.

This legitimacy, or rather lack thereof - ‘the estrangement of supporters' - manifests itself at unexpected points in time, but also just as easily evaporates again. This book unravels legitimacy on the basis of specific examples from actual practice and provides points of reference for managing this dimension.

About the authors:

Philippe Sprenger, Leanne Schoormans and Theo Camps are experts in the field of social enterprise. Based on their research and years of management consulting experience, they advise administrators and directors of social enterprises on issues such as control, legitimacy and accountability.


This publication is only available in Dutch

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