Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Eliesh Lane


Institutional void often fuels efforts by social entrepreneurs to fill gaps through social innovations (SIs). Furthermore, governments promote SIs because they tend to advance sustainable solutions and social change. In a town in Israel, after years of intense social activism, during governance by a Convened Committee (CC) established by the central government, community-based-organizations (CBOs) are no longer engaged in innovative activism. Fewer solutions to institutional void could deteriorate or generate social problems. A gap in the literature exists regarding Israeli CBOs' engagement in sustainable urban development (SUD) SIs during CC governance. The purpose of this research was to uncover the perceptions of CBO leaders on how they engaged in SIs that progressed SUD and the role, if any, of the CC in those processes. The RQs focused on how and why the CBO leaders engaged in innovative SUD projects. The qualitative multiple case study, supported by photovoice methods, was grounded in the conceptual framework of SI, institutional void, and social entrepreneurship theories. Participants included the whole population of 5 CBO leaders engaged in SUD SIs during CC governance. Interviews, photos, and documents were analyzed, mostly using descriptive codifying methods. Findings revealed that while the CC informed perceived enablers and barriers to SIs, the CBO leaders followed a unique pattern of engagement in SIs: "Dream, do, take responsibility, and change." The results apprise scholars and public administrators of how CBOs may inadvertently play a role in local urban development. A better understanding of why and how entrepreneurs engage in SIs may contribute to the fostering of these innovations and promotion of positive social change.