The Salvation Army Employment Plus UK
Resarcher(s): Charles Jardine, London South Bank University
The placement involved scoping a potentially huge project down into a highly prioritised set of critical success factors which informed urgent action points. This had to be done, so to speak - with one eye on the established charity for resistance to change, and the other on the embryonic social enterprise which needs to work with strategy, systems and structures which suit a dynamic business environment. Stakeholder perceptions are very important in contexts where the potential benefits of new initiatives can be easily overlooked or misinterpreted, and thus lost.
Charles Jardine is in final stages of a PhD thesis on social impact through responsible investment in UK social enterprises. This placement provided useful internal investment material. It also provided an opportunity to see some of the issues faced by the UK's largest non-governmental provider of social services in contractual relationships (to deliver public services) with government agencies, both directly and indirectly. It led to a conference paper at a major national conference . The Salvation Army noted that the fellowship provided access to expertise and hard work that met, if not surpassed, expectations. The quality of the approach to the research and recommendations was exemplary also surpassed expectations.