Social impact measurement: constructing an institution within third sector housing organisations

Pritchard-Wilkes, Vanessa Elizabeth (2014). Social impact measurement: constructing an institution within third sector housing organisations. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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This thesis is a study of why and how social impact measurement (SIM) is being adopted within the social housing sector. Driven by the need to demonstrate accountability, it is seen as a problematic undertaking. An original contribution is made by extending components within the concept of institutional work whilst working with an original nested theoretical framework with agency and institutions at its core.
The exploratory, interpretivist and reflexive way in which this research was undertaken allowed issues of importance to the interviewees to emerge inductively. This approach was wholly necessary due to the embryonic nature of the agenda and the underlying contested concept of social value.
A question arose as to whether the SIM output was an appropriate mechanism to provide such accountability. The research revealed macro level support for SIM through the analysis of institutional logics. Below this, within the organisational field, lies weak and contested logics at the meso level and a lack of informing logics at the micro level.
A more specific understanding of SIM as a concept and the methodological choices may increase utilisation of SIM outputs and aid in clarifying the concept of social value, its creation and measurement.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology


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