Skip to main content

Department of Management

Dr Greg Molecke

Dr Greg Molecke

Lecturer in Philanthropy / Social Entrepreneurship


 +44 (0) 1392 722125

 Streatham Court 1.65


Streatham Court, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4PU, UK


Greg Molecke is a Lecturer in Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy at the University of Exeter Business School (England). He holds a PhD from the Grenoble Ecole de Management (France), and an MBA and dual bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Philosophy from the University of New Mexico (USA). His dissertation is entitled Accounting for social impact: Constraints, cognitions, and constructions and investigates how nonprofits, social entrepreneurs and their supporters evaluate and account for their social impact. His research interests focus on organizational decision-making in relation to social impact performance, social innovation, paradox theory, and scaling-up processes in organizations. Greg first came to these topics while studying in Mexico, where he saw the poverty and enterprises interacting together up close. Later, as a young professional, he helped open international call centers in India and South Africa, this time seeing first-hand the trade-offs that had to be made as his employer navigated the realities of each country.

In addition to these endeavors, Greg also has over 15 years of experience in people, project, and program management at a Fortune 50 media and entertainment company, an energy company, a hospital, and a research university. Greg also completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Philanthropy Chair at ESSEC Business School (Paris).

Greg was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. He currently resides in Exeter, England with his wife, who is the co-founder of Cornershop Creative, a web design firm that focuses on helping non-profits and small businesses, and his two young daughters, who dedicate their time to hunting unicorns and studying muggle topics while waiting for their Hogwarts letters to arrive.

Nationality: American

Back to top


Research interests

My research focuses on how ventures secure resources and support based on the social value generated by their products and operations. I use primarily qualitative methodologies to investigate how social impact evaluations and other justifications for social action are created and then interpreted during sensemaking and decision-making processes. I employ several theoretical lenses in my work: bricolage theory, theories of entrepreneurial growth and scale, institutional theory, legitimacy theory, sensemaking, cognitive heuristics, behavioral economics, and paradox theory.

I work from both the perspective of actors (e.g., social enterprises, non-profits, and corporate social responsibility [CSR] projects), who must justify their social value to receive support; and funders (e.g., philanthropists, enterprises, governments, and non-governmental organizations [NGOs]), who incorporate social value into their decisionmaking processes and opportunity appraisals. This work addresses several core issues within (social) entrepreneurship, strategy, CSR, and philanthropy research: the role of social impact and sustainability in decisionmaking; methodologies to evaluate social impact, sustainability, and other non-financial measures of performance; and social value’s role in the acquisition of legitimacy, resources, and support for ventures. My research expands our understanding of entrepreneurship and philanthropy as means to respond to global grand challenges; the role of entrepreneurship within society; and how entrepreneurs navigate competing social, economic, and environmental goals.

Back to top


Journal articles

Molecke G, Hahn T, Pinkse J (2023). Folding organizational paradoxes: Narrative practices for legitimation amid competing stakeholder demands. HUMAN RELATIONS  Author URL.
Molecke G, Pinkse J (2020). Justifying social impact as a form of impression management: Legitimacy judgments of social enterprises' impact accounts. British Journal of Management
Molecke GS, Hahn T, Pinkse J (2019). The Folding of Organizational Tensions. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2019(1).
Molecke GS, Pinkse J (2018). Are social impact measures financial measures in sheep’s clothing?. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2018(1).
Molecke G, Pinkse J (2017). Accountability for social impact: a bricolage perspective on impact measurement in social enterprises. Journal of Business Venturing, 32(5), 550-568. Abstract.
Molecke GS (2015). Creating Objectivity in Social Entrepreneurship Impact Reporting Where There is None. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2015(1).
Molecke GS (2014). "Overload and emotion in sensemaking: a two-phase, intuitive-then-rational sensemaking model.". Academy of Management Proceedings, 2014(1).


Molecke G, Pache A-C (2019). How do we know when social innovation works? a review and contingencymodel of social impact assessment. In  (Ed) Handbook of Inclusive Innovation, Edward Elgar Publishing.

Back to top

Edit Profile