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Tracing the Intellectual Evolution of Social Entrepreneurship Research: Past Advances, Current Trends, and Future Directions

Abstract

In this study, we employed a combination of bibliometric analysis and a structured review approach to examine the social entrepreneurship (SE) research. Our bibliometric analysis involved 2517 articles containing 155,846 references and we analyzed the data in three time periods: 1990–2009, 2010–2014, and 2015–2020 to detect longitudinal trends. This analysis helped us to identify the intellectual foundation of each period and the evolution of the intellectual structure of SE research. We specifically identified 13, 9, and 11 clusters that constituted the philosophical foundations of SE research for the periods 1990–2009, 2010–2014, and 2015–2020 respectively. A longitudinal comparison of three periods helped us to trace the evolution of the intellectual structure of SE research. Further, the structured review, involving 106 recent influential articles, enabled us to identify 10 recent dominant themes of SE research. Building on our bibliometric and structured review approach, we developed an organizing framework for guiding future SE research across six dimensions: ethics, individual, community, collaborative, organizational, and contextual.

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Hota, P.K. Tracing the Intellectual Evolution of Social Entrepreneurship Research: Past Advances, Current Trends, and Future Directions. J Bus Ethics (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-021-04962-6

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Keywords

  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Bibliometric analysis
  • Intellectual structure
  • Structured review