Nevena Radoynovska

Area(s) of Interest:  Organization theory, institutional theory, inequality, hybrid organizational forms, social entrepreneurship


Nevena Radoynovska is a joint doctoral candidate at the Kellogg School of Management and the Department of Sociology, Northwestern University. Her research broadly explores how organizations and institutions construct, contribute to, and aim to alleviate social problems - particularly different forms of inequality. She approaches this question from two angles, each examining particular means or strategies for achieving socially-desirable goals. The first investigates how different forms of entrepreneurship are used as a means for reducing inequalities. The second considers hybrid organizing in the broader context of institutional complexity as a strategy for managing competing social, economic and political goals. Her research contexts have included: allocative decisions in emergency health care and social services, bases for support in crowdfunding ventures, and evaluation of social impact in social enterprises.


​Radoynovska, N. “Working Within Discretionary Boundaries: Allocative Rules, Exceptions, and the Micro-foundations of Inequ(al)ity.” Organization Studies, forthcoming.

Ocasio, W., and N. Radoynovska. (2016) “Strategy and Commitments to Institutional Logics: Organizational Heterogeneity in Governance and Business Models.” Strategic Organization 14(4): 287 – 309.

Dissertation Summary:

In the face of daunting global challenges, waning public budgets and a ‘crisis of capitalism’, market principles are increasingly being directed to address social problems. Social entrepreneurship - broadly understood as the use of sustainable revenue-generating practices to address unmet or poorly met social needs – has particularly attracted scholarly and public attention. Yet, we know surprisingly little about when, why, and how social entrepreneurship (SE) succeeds or fails.  In a collection of three papers, my dissertation investigates the conditions under, and extent to which, SE alleviates social exclusion and unemployment. I address these questions in the context of the French quartiers prioritaires – government-designated disadvantaged neighborhoods with disproportionally high rates of unemployment, poverty and social exclusion. I rely on mixed-methods (70 interviews, event-history analysis of a hand-collected database of 1192 existing and failed social enterprises across 14 years, and historical-archival data) to draw implications at multiple levels of analysis. At the organizational level these concern how hybrid organizations manage political tensions related to governance, beyond previously theorized tensions between their social and economic goals. At the community level my findings speak to how combinations of community and organizational characteristics affect social enterprise founding and survival rates. Finally, at the field level I draw conclusions for evaluating social entrepreneurship’s broader impact on society. Ultimately, the dissertation fits within my broader interests of understanding entrepreneurship and hybrid organizing as strategies for addressing forms of inequality.


Best Doctoral Conference Paper, Public and Non-Profit Division, Academy of Management (2016)
NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Award (2016)
Northwestern University – Sciences Po (Paris) visiting exchange grant (2015)
International Dissertation Research Grant, Buffett Institute for Global Studies (2015)