淺談社會企業的責信

淺談社會企業的責信


(By Anna Lena Schiller (http://annalenaschiller.com/) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

社會企業的熱潮在臺灣方興未艾,自官方定調 2014 為「社會企業元年」並開始投注資源以來,已更為人知且生態圈逐漸成形。社會企業討論重心也逐漸從概念推廣,更深入到如何夯實發展基礎的實務層面,但仍在摸著石頭過河。與此相對,非營利組織(NPO)在臺灣已發展多年,雖然取徑不同,但解決社會問題及解讀公益環境的經驗仍值得借鑑。

「信任」是關鍵,也是挑戰

近兩年臺灣公益領域最引人注目的莫過於慈濟及紅十字會的財務透明爭議,分別捲動了大規模的公共討論。輿論不僅引發信任危機,更直接對組織財務產生衝擊:依據紅十字會所公佈的財務報告,2015 年的經常性捐款大幅流失、較前一年遽減(不含高雄氣爆等特殊事件指定用途捐款,如下圖)。

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2009 年國際金融危機明顯影響了紅十字會收入,但接續發生八八風災、汶川地震及東日本大地震等,非但沒有排擠常態捐款,反而推升至新高。這些重大災害提升了紅十字會的曝光、提醒大眾這個災難援救組織存在的價值,因此持續獲得資源挹注。

然而,關鍵轉折出現於 2011 年的東日本大地震。臺灣人踴躍捐輸幾個月後,網友及媒體指控紅十字會撥款過慢,一時間群情激憤大加撻伐。雖然紅十字會試圖澄清災難援助的分階段介入是國際慣例,最後仍迫於公眾壓力,將所有捐款一次性全數捐出。自此常態捐款幾近腰斬並逐年下降。2014 年的高雄氣爆事件則再次召喚了諸多質疑,並持續延燒到 2015 年尼泊爾震災的公開勸募,紅十字會臉書專頁被網友抵制灌爆。換句話說,信任危機從來沒有真正消失,紅十字會的營運似乎陷入了「向下螺旋」(downward spiral)的漩渦而難以脫身。

經此可以觀察到幾件事:

「信任」是公益組織運作的關鍵議題:最直接的影響就是能取得多少資源(金錢或人力等)及主導資源如何運用的邏輯,間接影響了實現組織宗旨的能量(capacity)及永續性(sustainability)。紅十字會如今身陷泥淖,不只對組織發展不利,也難以正常發揮影響力或專注在它該做的事。

需要取信的對象更廣泛:一般大眾都可能影響組織的聲譽,換句話說,更多潛在的「利害相關人」會對組織進行檢視,不僅在個別的人際圈裡造成影響,也可能累積成巨大的力量影響政策(例如紅十字會法已在今年被廢止)。

信任更難建立或維繫:「做好事」的單純善意已不足以支持公益事業,不只是財務誠信的基本要求,公眾更開始關切是否做對的事(do the right thing)、是否把事情做好(do the thing right)、如何證明社會問題被改善或組織的效能等。以紅十字會為例,公開財務報表及加入自律聯盟已不足以說服公眾;從公益組織的角度來看,就是建立或維繫信任的成本增加了。

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社會企業與 NPO 的利害相關人雖然不盡相同(面對的是投資人/消費者,而不是捐款人/補助機構),但同樣需要資源支持(來源是股權投資/銷貨收入,而不只是捐款或補助款),而且也需要內部及外部人的信任才能順利運作商業模式,解決社會問題。更重要的是,社會企業這種嶄新的組織型態,必須取得公眾認可的正當性,才能持續擴大發展空間及社會影響力。因此,「信任」是社會企業發展無法迴避的關鍵議題。

不過,為了取得信任,或者說為了展現組織的「責信」(accountability),社會企業一方面置身於與非營利組織相同的客觀環境中,另一方面又因為組織型態等主觀條件複雜,而面對更為嚴苛的挑戰。

數位科技帶來更多元的責信環境

什麼是「責信」?從文字定義來說,「個人或組織對外部作為負起責任,內部責任則是持續修正並追求組織的使命、目標及績效」(注 1),最重要的兩個元素是主觀上的「負責任」(responsible)及客觀上的「可被檢驗」(answerable)。也就是說,除了盡一切努力達成組織使命,目標、過程及結果也需對利害相關人交待並加以溝通。

這樣的概念或許不難理解,但如何詮釋卻非一成不變。關於應該「對誰」(to whom)、「對什麼事」(for what)以及「如何做」(how to)等基本問題,因為鑲嵌於不同的社會肌理,而對應不同的時空意涵。

近代人類社會最重大的變化莫過於數位科技漸趨成熟,而重塑社會樣貌。科技的各項元素如志願社群、公共審議、去中心化、社會包容等,逐漸浸潤到經濟、社會及政治的運作之中。一方面,隨著科技與生活的逐漸密合,解決社會議題的路徑可以有更多想像;另一方面,人們取得、儲存及使用資訊的慣性不同,對資訊細節或傳遞速度的期待也產生改變。換句話說,數位科技不只促成社會創新,更深層改變了人們彼此觀看和互動的機制,而這當然也影響了「責信」這個詞語的心理約定和具體實踐。

關於「對誰」責信(to whom),過去認為 NPO 將責信焦點放在資源的提供者,除了反映出資源供需關係中的權力順序,也呈現了組織藉由辨識核心利害相關人(key stakeholder)以降低責信成本的現實處境。然而近年國際反思卻更加體察受助者的觀點,更強調「讓弱勢自己發聲」取代「替弱勢發聲」,以確認社會問題被有效解決,避免淪為助人者的自我感覺良好或反效果,像是買一捐一舊物回捐的機制反而傷害在地經濟,或賴比瑞亞的生質能源投資計畫造成社區貧窮、水汙染及勞動剝削等問題,又如墨西哥的水力發電計畫不但非法取得土地,還造成環境汙染並影響居民安全等。

此外,機構工作者也開始爭取組織決策的話語權。由於結構扁平化產生的階級消融、數位工具影響資訊的分享及流動,並且結合對勞動條件的關注,工作者也逐漸意識到自身的能動性。更值得注意的是,過去與組織決策距離遙遠的陌生群眾已經無法被忽視,任何人都可以不對稱的利用新興媒體工具調動輿論,在紅十字會事件中即已顯露無遺。

相應地,組織的責信機制運作(how to)是否充分考量利害相關人的多元屬性,便成為是否具有積極意義的關鍵,否則便只是消極的「遵循」(compliance,也就是遵守規則)。例如最常見的資訊揭露或績效評估,如果沒有與利害相關人充分對話、共同討論應揭露什麼資訊、用什麼指標評估、如何解讀、回饋或修正等,不僅對內難以成為指引組織成長的「儀表板」,對外也無法具說服力的呈現組織運作情形及成果,徒具形式。

總而言之,數位時代的透明、速度、互動、要求實績等特徵,造就了更加多元的責信環境。社會企業運作其間,與 NPO 相同的是,除了必須包容及平衡各方觀點,現實上還要避免目標偏移或責信成本難以負荷。

社會企業制度具彈性,卻也是挑戰

同樣必須廣納利害相關人,社會企業的責信議題卻較傳統的 NPO 更為複雜。介於 NPO 與商業組織之間的制度設計帶來更佳的運作彈性,卻也帶來更多的責信挑戰。

首先,公眾對社會企業的認同或信任難以深化

模糊的制度設計造成分類困難、辨識不易,公眾不知該以何種標準檢視。傳統的 NPO 或商業組織較單純,前者以公眾資源謀求公共利益、後者藉巿場經濟追求私人利益的極大化;混合型組織(blended organizations,也就是廣義的社會企業)相對複雜得多,除了資金可能部分來自公眾(捐款或補助)、部分來自商業行為,公益與私益的界線也不那麼明確。例如日前開始營運並自稱社會企業的「益品書屋」引起爭議,批評意見包括沒有財務永續的商業模式、要解決的社會問題不夠清晰或未促進社會團結等,顯示對於如何辨認或檢驗社會企業尚無共識,對話也暫時難以聚焦。

其次,利害相關人的期待較為分歧。

由於混合了公益及私益,雖然社會企業意圖兼顧社會影響、財務報酬及環境保護等多重基線(baseline),實際營運還是必須遷就權力結構。NPO 或許還能概括在社會意義優先的前提之下,但社會企業卻未必如此。例如目前美國的影響力投資人(impact investor,相當於社會企業的創投或股權投資方)仍以財務報酬為主要依據,很難不影響社會企業的價值取向;此外,先前多扶傳出模式遭大型企業抄襲一事,背後更值得探究的是目前多扶財務仍持續虧損、由創辦人獨力融通的情況下,營運決策必須更偏向財務考量,且如果要擴大影響力勢必需要與資本妥協。

不同的利害相關人期待自不相同,而不對稱的影響力有時卻會排擠資源或相互掣肘,由此造成的期待落差便可能造成困境或傷害。

最後,評估機制尚未成熟

關於方案的社會性評估,雖然 NPO 已發展多種評估工具並累積長期經驗,卻仍有許多限制,例如社會問題需長時間追蹤變化、不易量化表達等。除此之外,社會企業尚需考量財務績效,如何綜合表達社會與財務意義、如何表達評估結果便於溝通理解,或如何具備可比較性,都還在討論、還發展中。此外,實際執行評估的層面上也有挑戰,像是執行評估的專業要求和成本較高、中小型組織難以負荷等。

依據研究,臺灣的社會企業受訪者坦然表示暫時沒有設想如何呈現社會價值、也沒有投入發展評估工具,只能籠統表達組織前進的方向(注 2)。最近十分熱門的「社會投資報酬率」(SROI,Social Return on Investment)則將社會目的成果貨幣化以便於溝通理解,但實際操作則受限於組織沒有財務專才,而且計算過程需要大量假設,因此透明度不足也欠缺可比較性,本質上僅能供內部管理之用(注 3)。

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結論:促進信任為首要任務

「社會企業行動方案」即將於今年底到期,展望未來,社會企業的發展仍有許多值得討論和思考的面向。如就 NPO 發展現況所帶來的重要反思,便是如何促進與增強組織與利害相關人之間的「信任」。

責信的當代意涵更強調多元觀點、社會企業跨距之大使得辨識不易、利害相關人的期待多有不同,以及評估工具尚待發展等,接續可以展開更多具體的問題,像是:社會企業雖然難以精確定位,是否仍應持續討論定義以豐富其內涵?是否試著以多個向度標定不同社會企業的相對位置,以便於理解或監督?組織治理應邀請利害相關人協力共治,還是以盈餘分配限制即可?資訊揭露的最低標準是什麼、理想標準又是什麼?評估機制如何總結在地經驗,建構出富有意義的模式?

NPO 發展的歷史脈絡當然構成了社會企業的一部分,而未來關於社會企業責信意涵或評估機制的發展,必然也會溢出影響 NPO。或許可以說,社會企業與 NPO 之間的良性競爭及相互學習,應能指出一條更為完善的道路。


(本文刊載於勞動力發展署之社會經濟入口網

附注:

1. Alnoor Ebrahim, 2010, “The Many Faces of Nonprofit Accountability”, Chap. 4 in The Jossey-Bass Handbook of Nonprofit Leadership and Management. 3rd ed. Edited by David O. Renz, pp.110–121. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

2. 高永興(2015),〈社會企業之制度選擇與價值呈現〉,博士學位論文:暨南大學社工系。

3. 吳宗昇(2013),〈如何評估社會企業的績效?社會創新方案的 SROI 評估〉。

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I think you may be underestimating Jess’s managerial input here – I only go on my own experience with my wife having a full understanding of all i am doing in another room and where i may be going wrong …. looking forward to a taste!

It looks like you are tracking total liquids and comparing that to WTI Crude prices. Given the variety of costs and EROEI for the liquids, it might be better to compare crude with crude or at least mention the discrepancy in the data.I do appreciate your blog. One of the things holding me back on having my own blog is how nitpicking I am on my own stuff, which makes me too slow a writer. Better to go with what you have got than not to put anything out at all.

Perfect Photographer’s Notebook?Posted by Simon in Technology with No Responses YetSince I first discussed Evernote on this blog, it’s gone from strength to strength. With every release the guys and gals at Evernote

dis moi, al amine, ton dieu unique et tout puissant, d’où vient-il? qui l’a créé, sinon l’imagination des croyants comme toi?

I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an edginess over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

Hi everyone,Im new to the forum and just wanted to introduce myself, my name is Robert and I’m form US. I’ve been a long time lurker who has finally decided to make an account and contribute.

Merci pour la précision.Vraiment je suis très contente que cette « petite encyclopédie » existe, elle est pleine d’enseignement d’une façon abordable et pas rébarbative. Merci encore

that she/he has no religion, record ‘no religion’. In this situation too, the box provided at the left of this column would be left blank for use in the office at a later stage. You should not enter into any argument with the household for recording entry under this question.(See Fig. 6.47). You are bound to record faithfully whatever religion is returned by the respondent for herself/himself and for other members in the household.

Diane Orloski - I dont know what happened to my first post…disappeared. You guys look amazing. Magazine cover material. Great photographer. Love the first pic. Bubble without photoshop is amazing as well.January 15, 2012 – 5:45 pm

The gun, in this analogy, would be equivalent to the heart attack, not to divine intervention. I have never accused Mr Wright of being mistaken about the existence of heart attacks, or about the specific sequence of events that he experienced; only about the inferences to be drawn. It is the inference, of a divine being or of the desirability of gun control, that requires knowledge of statistics.

Zomg, love it. I have never read any of the Doyle (though I got a volume for Christmas!) but I thought I would like it because I'm an RDJ supporter. I love your review, also. You're always saying what I'm thinking, but more eloquently. The three main reasons I loved it, though: -National Treasure-esque suspense and then explanation-The Wacky One and The Rational One like Jack Sparrow and Will Turner-things blowing up:D :D :D

My family traditon is have a champange breakfast with fresh summer fruit, eg; strawberrie, mango, raspberries, redcurrants etc with homemade pancakes. Then we open the christmas presents after the dishes are done

/ Wahoo! 1st June is the national doughnut day! I am so excited to celebrate the day amazingly. I decide to go Dunkin’ Donuts for the free sweet deal. I just need to buy beverage. Thanks for the quite impressive info! Emma Law recently posted..

j’en suis à 37-38 que je n’ai pas reçu en dépit de l’envoi signalé du 22/07; ils m’assurent l’avoir envoyé.COmme toit j’ai commandé tout le reste et j’attends du 39 au 50.Après les avoir eu au tel, il semble que 38 soit en rupture!

Nice to have a UK blog, lovely day today. We went to the coast near Brighton today the sea was calm. hope you enjoyed the 1st April and the sunshine.Where to next?

Sorry for the confusion.I was saying that if I give unlimited support I’m making around $400 profit but if I have to work for that customer around 4 hrs a month on support I will make 0 profit since 4 hrs of support at $100/hr is the $400. I will not charge him anything extra since he is on unlimited plan. What I’m trying to say is that an unlimited plan for the customer is not always profitable. I like to know what you think. Does anyone make any money out of unlimited support and if yes what will be the limit of the unlimited?

Bonjour,Je viens de vérifier pour Pacitel. Ce service n’a jamais servit à rien juste parce qu’aucune des entreprises qui auraient dû s’engager, ne s’est jamais inscrite.J’ai vu aussi que le texte de loi qui devait régir ces obligations des entreprises n’a jamais été voté…..Pacitel ne sert donc absolument à rien….Nous sommes sur Orange et avons été obligés de souscrire l’option de Stop Secret pour 2 euros par mois.

Oh, you did good for your kids! Thanks for playing along with the party today. I'm loving seeing all the finds that everyone hauled home. If you could make the link back to my party "live", that would be great!

I much like the invaluable information you give you inside your content pieces.I will bookmark your site and examine again listed here repeatedly.I’m really confident I’ll gain knowledge of plenty of recent stuff best suited here! Good luck for the next!

Everything is perfect over here. With the exception of sync not working. The circular loading icon just keeps on spinning. Been that way for a few versions, plz fix!

...... some people are nothing but oxygen thieves.I bet here in the states there is someone in our EPA figuring out a way to regulate it, along with a politician somewhere figuring out a way to tax it.

reporting the matter to the press had been left in the hands of Katharine Armstrong, the owner of the ranch, who called the local paper, Corpus Christi Caller-Times and told them all about it the day after the event. So obviously, there was no intent to hide what happened."

lea disse:InácioMuito interessantes esses caras turrões e boa gente. Já me deparei com alguns poucos e é bom quando tiramos as cascas deles e saboreamos os seus recheios.Ótima sua história, acho que ele adorou teu jeito de chegar até ele né?abçLea

Le tirage au sort a été faite de livres; Laissez un message court ici, Sir Andriotakis, Pour ceux qui ne savent pas la chance cette fois. Merci.

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