Developing your social model

In other guides we look at defining the theory of the problem you are seeking to address, and your theory of change; these are two of the three components of an organisations social model. The third component involves defining the specific activities or actions that will enable you to deliver your solution to the problem.

Developing your social model - theory of action

Your theory of action will typically contain two types of activities/ actions:

  • Core actions: Articulating the key interventions outlined in you theory of change.
  • Support actions: additional interventions that may be required to enable your organisation to deliver its core actions.

Using the example of Social Enterprise D, an organisation providing advice, information and support to migrants and refugees (shortened below to M&Rs) in city ‘y’, the diagram below illustrates the translation of the key interventions (defined through the theory of change) into core and support actions (the theory of action)

Developing your social model diagram

Finalise your social model

To summarise, your social model should be a documented overview of the following elements:

Theory of the problem:

  • The current state
  • The goal state
  • The context (environmental analysis)

Theory of change:

  • Headline interventions
  • Outcomes
  • Assumptions

Theory of action:

  • Core actions
  • Support actions

Once you have defined your theory of action, the social model for your organisation will be complete. The complete social model will form an important component of your business plan. For example; your ‘theory of the problem’ will be closely linked to your analysis of the market in which you are operating, and your ‘theory of action’ will provide you with many of the foundations for your business model, operational & organisational plan and marketing strategy and plan.

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