This thesis bridges the gaps and connects different bodies of literature. It highlights social enterprises which deal with food waste in an upcycling way by converting surplus food into new products. Following, it delves into concept of social capital initiated in a network organisation with its structural, relational and cognitive dimensions, and seeks to find out what influence these dimensions have on innovation adoption of the enterprises, with the knowledge absorptive capacity affecting this influence. The research question asks: In what ways does the social capital of the network organisation influences social enterprises’ adoption of innovation and what is the role of their knowledge absorptive capacities in this regard? Analysing relationships between the concepts at stake, this thesis illustrates an exploratory research of qualitative nested case study generating four subcases. Triangulation of methods, consisting of desk research of a secondary data and interviews of open questions, was applied to gather the required data for answering of the research question. The research concludes that the relationship between the enterprises’ innovation adoption and the social capital presented in the network organisation is absent. In neither of the cases a direct or indirect link could have been established between an innovation adoption as a result of the social capital’s assets and recourses derived from the network organisation, for which possible explanation are outlined. The links observed from the findings present a more ‘modest outcomes’, which although are not directly connected to innovation, still demonstrate meaningful ways of how the enterprises can benefit with their participation in the network. Additionally, the findings highlight the importance of the absorptive capacity for innovation adoption. The knowledge absorptive capacity proved to play a considerable role in the entrepreneurs’ assessment of the network’s social capital influence on their enterprises and of the overall benefits which their participation in the network offers. After drawing of the conclusions, recommendations and suggestions for improvements of the network organisation are discussed, as well as opportunities for a further research.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Social capital, networks, absorptive capacity, adoption of innovation, social enterprises, food waste
Thesis Advisor Dr. I. F. van Meerkerk, J. Eshuis
Persistent URL
Series Public Administration
Sojkova, Veronika. (2019, October 11). Combating food waste through social enterprises. Public Administration. Retrieved from