海嘯之後,社會企業是否能帶領我們前往應許之地?/《社企是門好生意?》推薦序

海嘯之後,社會企業是否能帶領我們前往應許之地?/《社企是門好生意?》推薦序

「 30 年期的固定利率貸款、低頭期款,以及無論景氣如何都能跟銀行抵押借款等方式,希望能改善中低收入、偏遠地區家庭購置房產的能力。」這是美國小布希政府在 21 世紀初期所推出的政策,立意十分良好,擁有房子確實是弱勢家庭改善生活或脫貧的關鍵,但後來卻招致意想不到的結果:一場史無前例的金融海嘯。

隨著無力償還貸款的違約情事增加,房地產巿場泡沫終於在 2007 年破裂,進而重挫了相關債券價格。不僅投資人血本無歸,本身也參與投資的知名投資銀行受創嚴重,例如雷曼兄弟(Lehman Brothers)於 2008 年 9 月申請破產。海嘯從房巿接著襲捲股巿,透過金融體系將全世界淹沒在 2 戰後最大的蕭條之中。

迄今剛好 10 年,各國逐漸走出陰霾。經歷這個代價高昂的學習,經濟合作暨發展組織(OECD)認為最重要的是經濟發展的主軸轉移:從強調「成長」,轉為關注人類的「福祉(well-being)」;不再只看國民生產毛額(GDP),也在意所得或財富不平等問題,以及如何確保環境永續。

圖/Ryan Born@ unsplash

海嘯之後,社會企業是否帶領我們前往應許之地?

全球經濟思想被改寫、政策被重新框架,社會裡的各個行動者不免都受到影響。首當其衝的就是過去身為發展引擎、如今卻備受質疑的私有企業。一方面如何減輕逐利過程造成的外部傷害,另一方面則是企業的基本邏輯被挑戰,「社會企業」這種意圖兼顧多元價值的組織型態便受到高度矚目及期待。

「社會企業」這名詞在 20 年前就有了,概念出現得更早。然而,直到 2006 年,尤努斯獲得諾貝爾和平獎後,才被重新召喚,身價水漲船高。社會企業的再現,與這股重塑經濟發展的巨浪不無關聯。但究其實質,社會企業是否真的能夠帶領人類航向應許之地? 10 年是適合反思的時間尺度,本書依據證據和邏輯細細比對,滌清讓人眼花瞭亂目眩神迷的各種修辭。

過往的公共討論大多爭辯「社會企業是什麼?」的定義問題,卻始終沒有完美的答案。除了學術門牆裡的知識辯證,2016 年,臺灣王品創辦人戴勝益成立了「益品書屋」,被認為共享了大眾對社會企業的誤解;2017 年,中國針對「公益向右,商業向左」掀起規模不小的論戰(註 1);甫於蘇格蘭舉辦的社會企業世界論壇(Social Enterprise World Forum),也還在討論什麼是社會企業。

臺灣自 2014「社會企業元年」之後,產官學便熱衷於此大力投入資源,在這屆( 2018 年)的社會企業世界論壇中,也仍是參與人數第 3 多的國家。最關鍵的是,政權更替之後由科技背景的政務委員唐鳯主責,成立社會創新實驗中心、政院通過 5 年 88 億的社會創新行動方案,更強調「創新」的概念和實踐。

圖/Tim Marshall@ unsplash

從趨勢上來看,公眾關注的焦點從「誰才是社會企業」這個沒完沒了的價值爭辯,轉移到更具體的實踐。同樣地,本書主要檢驗特定類型組織,而不是參與定義的論戰。這些組織尤指臺灣 2006 年後以辦理營利事業登記,並主張其商業行為本身就在解決特定社會問題、「具備社會目的的商業模式」。因為更側重企業觀點,所展現的特質、經營方針、策略以及理念,與臺灣早期發展的「非營利組織的商業行為」截然不同。

換句話說,本書並未全盤否定姿態秀異的各種另類經濟模式,而是希望明確指認游移在社會與企業之間,名為公益大義、實則制度套利,不僅無法解決社會問題、甚至加劇傷害的諸般善念或惡意。而作者的批判重點包括:「又能賺錢又能做好事」的宣傳話術、「社會需求商品化」的商業模式,以及承襲「新自由主義」的意識型態。

將道德期待轉為義務,從結構下手促成改變

首先,營利與解決社會問題所需要的能力或邏輯未必相同,「又能賺錢又能做好事」的虛華修辭讓人低估經營實業的艱難。暫不談經營者是否有充足的雙軌知能,創業現場的掙扎顯而易見,要同時達成財務、社會及環境等各面向的精妙平衡並不容易,還是必須有所取捨。除了本書的論證,根據公布於創櫃板 5 間社會企業概念公司的財務報告,有 4 間最近 3 年的營運活動持續現金流出,白話說就是還在燒錢、未能盈利。倘若情況沒有改善,隨著財務壓力升高,將會逐步限縮決策空間,實際上無法守住其所宣稱的任何底線。

圖/Tim Mossholder@ unsplash

其次,「社會需求商品化」的商業模式最大的問題是「去政治化」,也就是將社會問題排除在政治議程之外,代之以各種市場問題。書中以微型信貸為例,滿足借貸的財貨需求,除了未能明確紓緩貧窮問題,這些歸責於個人和巿場行為的舉動,反而模糊了國家應該投入基礎建設和公共福利的責任界線。換個角度看,這正與金融海嘯發生前只談拚經濟、不要談政治的趨勢若合符節。事實上,經濟學原名「政治經濟學」(political economics),是關乎眾人權利義務的牽絆,但這門學科愈來愈以理性科學自我標榜、愈遠離社會真實的權力現場而失去預測性和可行性。去政治化的言辭既排除了公共參與,也就無法改動資源分配的邏輯,而不利於結構問題的解決。

最後,「新自由主義」的意識型態認為應該擴大市場的力量,並相信這是解決社會問題的最好途徑。然而作者坦率指出,對於沒有巿場潛力的社會問題,社會企業是沒有興趣也無能為力的,仍舊只能留給傳統的慈善團體。這個觀點可以對應音樂家彼德.巴菲特(Peter Buffett)對當前巿場力量投入慈善的反思。承接父親、亦是知名投資專家華倫.巴菲特(Warren Buffett)的基金會運作多年,彼德.巴菲特觀察到資本家對慈善的想像太過天真單調,而且更像是為了洗白自己另一手造成的傷害。他訴諸道德情操,認為資本家應回歸人性,並尊重解決社會問題的專業。

這種以「利他就是利己」思考為核心的修正意見,被稱之為「開明自利」(enlighted self-interest),目的是希望對資源分配有決定權的人能理解,不管組織運作或投資捐助,從事符合公共利益的選擇最後都會有利於自身。然而過去的資本家雖然有個人選擇,但巿場機制的設計、國家角色的退出、整體思想的主流,再再強化了貨幣利益優先的環境;反過來說,不符合這個原則的資本家可能被股東及金融體系排除。

所以務實來看,談及資本對公益事務的影響時,訴諸道德情操聽來高尚但微弱,實際上仍需要將道德期待轉為義務,從結構下手才能促成改變。

圖/Sharon McCutcheon@ unsplash

社會企業的責信難題 & 企業透過內部創新回應社會責任

對宣稱要取得資源解決社會問題的行動者而言,無論傳統的慈善組織或新興的社會企業,取信於大眾當然是重要關鍵。建立信任需要過程,對社會企業的諸般檢視、比對和對話,就是實踐「責信」(accountability)。accounts 最初指的是為了讓別人理解自己的行為而做出的「交代」,而如果要夯實信任的基礎,不只主觀上要負起責任(responsible),更要在客觀上可被檢驗(answerable)。

不過,「給交代」本身就是非常複雜的社會活動,因為對話的對象不同,相對應的責信自然不同。更複雜的是,隨著社會變遷,責信標準也在位移。人類社會對「發展」的想像在金融海嘯過後已被修正。哲學及經濟學家 Amartya Sen 提出以人為本的觀點認為社會正義應該追求的是「每個人都有平等的權利獲得發展潛能的機會」。具體而言,對責信的影響除了關切受助對象是否能自立發聲,組織運作也需要充分考量利害相關人的多元屬性。

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慈善組織更為複雜。混合型態的制度設計帶來更佳的運作彈性,卻也帶來更多的挑戰。社會企業的資金可能部分來自公眾(捐款或補助)、部分來自巿場(股權募資、銀行貸款或銷售行為),公益與私益的界線不那麼明確,如何課責便成為棘手的難題。

圖/Jimi Filipovski@ unsplash

難題之一是,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,期待落差便可能造成困境。例如目前美國的影響力投資人(impact investor,社會企業的創投或股權投資者)仍以財務報酬為準據,很難不影響社會企業的價值取向。另一個難題是如何評估,以及高昂的評估成本。雖然傳統上已有多種社會效益評估工具,基本限制仍在,例如社會問題需長時間追蹤變化、不易量化表達等。再加上社會企業尚需考量財務績效,社會與財務意義如何綜合表述仍需討論發展。也因為執行複雜度高,專業要求及金錢成本也就遠超出中小型組織可負荷的範圍。

綜而言之,本書的批判和責信觀點的難題顯然是社會企業發展的天然限制,尤其對中小規模的新創企業來說更難以跨越。相對而言,既有企業透過「內部創新」回應更多元的社會責任,反而是較為可行的航路。

經由金融海嘯等經驗證明,巿場一直都有政府介入、也需要政府某種程度的介入;伴隨著「發展」被重新定義,過去看似不可挑戰的主流觀點被斷然放棄。許諾前往烏托邦的社會企業經過這許多的資源與話語形塑,是否帶著特定視野?本書並未輕易訴諸常見的資本主義萬惡論,而是揀選用語和案例,精采呈現了當前制度安排中的悖論:對新自由主義既有發展邏輯的修正,可能適得其反地讓新自由主義更為進化而難以指認究責。

透過這些思考和比對可以超越表象,更理解實務運作的困頓,以及當中的權衡。以跨部門合作的混搭型式來看(下圖),核心問題正如作者指出的,解決社會問題如果偏重鞏固資源,能達到多少效果?自負盈虧的公辦民營,是否奠基於另一種剝削?而企業或資本家的想像,又能跟社會中的其他行動者對話到什麼程度?唯有將社會中所有行動者的意圖和舉措都納入檢視,才能在各個部門彼此浸潤學習、生成更多混合機制時,確認我們正航向何方。

社會制度的安排。圖/時報出版提供

從對立面看見追求公共利益的初衷

當然,本書的觀點也可以再反過來推敲。「又能賺錢又能做好事」或許是話術,但它真正指向的不是新的企業型態,而是一般企業存在價值的典範轉移:「股東權益極大化」的傳統觀點,現今如何與多元價值妥協?「社會需求商品化」的商業模式或許無法解決大範圍的議題,但透過商業資源解決有限問題,這些個別需求或個人處遇的改善仍應該是有意義的。更何況巨大的結構問題,傳統的解決方式也未能動搖?「新自由主義」主張巿場完全去管制化,金融海嘯之後被拿來嚴加批判。但開放與管制之間如何拿捏,實務上需要各種折衝和嘗試。社會企業或許仍是問題的一部分,但至少拓展了試驗的前沿?與其「什麼都不做」(going nowhere),不如「什麼都做」(going everywhere)?

如何更明智地追求公共利益,從本書字裡行間可歸納出幾個重點:更普遍的企業社會化(所有的企業都應該成為對更多利害相關人負責的企業)、評估社會效益(分析其動機、提供的勞動條件、組織所付出的成本及努力等)、追求經濟領域的民主、提升透明度、培力在地人群等。話雖如此,理念實踐非常不易,例如臺灣主婦聯盟消費合作社最近推動成立勞動合作社,就遇到勞方的抗爭。(註 2 )(參考:框架之外,「尊嚴勞動」可能嗎?/主婦聯盟合作社推動勞務承攬爭議

圖/Nick Tiemeyer@ unsplash

對關心社會發展的讀者而言,本書除了讓社會企業的圖像更清晰,更重要的是跳脫常見框架的爭論,得以深潛觀看制度安排的內涵;對解決社會問題的實踐者來說,可以比對自身解決方案的設計,進行更多思辨對話;那怕是本書批判對象的支持者,或可以從對立面的思想有所領會。

地圖上毫米的偏誤,抵達的可能是 10 萬 8 千里外的他方。改造社會需要勇氣和熱情前行,但仍要時刻叩問,這是通往偉大航道的方向嗎?

註 1 :南都基金會創辦人徐永光著書《公益向右,商業向左》,認為應該通過巿場機制調動社會力量,將商業策略大程度運用於改善人類的生存環境,也就是常見的社會企業定義:做好事又能賺錢,賺來的錢再拿去做好事。但人民大學公共管理教授康曉光撰文公開反對,認為「商業可以向左,但公益不能向右」。由於 2 人都是公益部門舉足輕重的學者專家,掀起了學界及實務界的諸多迴響。(參考:2017 中國公益界 10 大熱門事件:從 99 公益日、慈善法、二光之爭到幼兒園虐童案

註 2:主婦聯盟消費合作社計畫將原本直營的取貨站業務,有條件地開放予「勞動合作社」承攬。主婦聯盟主張,推動勞動合作社成立符合合作社精神、社方核心價值,但工會直指社方假意推動勞務自主、實則欲行人力外包,「假承攬真雇傭」,旨在降低人事成本。(參考:NPOst 主婦聯盟合作社推動勞務承攬爭議上篇下篇後記

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