Turning Social Return on Investment on Its Head: The Stakeholder Impact Statement

Laurie Mook, John Maiorano, Sherida Ryan, Ann Armstrong, Jack Quarter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This article undertakes a critique of social return on investment (SROI), combining the existing research literature with an analysis of six case studies of supported social enterprises employing people with disabilities and other challenges that affect their access to the conventional labor market. The critique of SROI focuses on its positivist roots and its emphasis on one number, the SROI ratio. It also discusses the technical challenges in producing that number, including concerns about its reliability. The article presents the stakeholder impact statement, an approach that is rooted in interpretivism and attempts to understand the impact of enterprises through the eyes of multiple stakeholders. Unlike SROI, which is a supplement to conventional accounting statements, the stakeholder impact statement integrates financial and social impact data, thereby placing them on the same level of importance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-246
Number of pages18
JournalNonprofit Management and Leadership
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • social accounting
  • social enterprise
  • social return on investment
  • stakeholder engagement
  • stakeholder impact statement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management


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