Hearing narrative voices of Filipino social enterprise employees

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The purpose of this paper is to explore the personal and contextual factors that shape the work experiences of Filipino social enterprise employees by listening to voices within their narratives.


In total, 11 social enterprise employees were interviewed about their work experiences. Using the Listening Guide as a method of analysis, common themes and the multiple voices within the narratives were identified.


Upon analysis, four stories were identified: stories of serving others, stories of providing for family, stories of managing relationships and stories of personal learning. Results show that the experiences and multiple identities of employees evoke the duality and hybridity that characterizes social enterprise organizations. The importance of relationships in collectivist cultures, and the salience of the indigenous concept of kapwa are also discussed.

Research limitations/implications

The use of narratives, and particularly, of voices within narratives as a critical tool to study work experiences is highlighted. Generalizability of results may be limited by contextual factors, such as organization type and country culture.


In this study, the narratives of social enterprise workers from different positions were explored. The voices within their narratives were analyzed and used as a means to understand how they viewed the self, others, and their work in social enterprises embedded in collectivist and developing country contexts.