Social Entrepreneurship and Institutional Factors: A Literature Review

Part of the International Studies in Entrepreneurship book series (ISEN, volume 36)


During recent decades, the interest of academia and policy-makers in social entrepreneurship has been increasing, due to its impact on social and economic development. The main objective of this chapter is to explore the content and methodology used in social entrepreneurship research focusing on the institutional economics perspective. The literature review was based on articles published in top journals, especially those included in the Web of Science. The main findings suggest that social entrepreneurship literature has tended to focus describing experiences of the most popular social entrepreneurs, their personal characteristics and their key success factors. Additionally, the vast majority of the literature is classified as conceptual research. Likewise, empirical research is characterized by the use of case study methodology. The study has both theoretical (for the development of the literature in the social entrepreneurship field) and empirical implications.


Social entrepreneurship Social entrepreneurial activity Institutional factors Literature review 



David Urbano acknowledges the financial support from projects ECO2013-44027-P (Spanish Ministry of Economy & Competitiveness) and 2014-SGR-1626 (Economy & Knowledge Department—Catalan Government–). Also, Sebastian Aparicio acknowledges financial support for Ph.D. studies from COLCIENCIAS Ph.D. Program Chapter 3 (617/2013) and Fundación ECSIM.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BusinessUniversitat Autonoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Organización de EmpresasUniversitat Politècnica de ValènciaValenciaSpain

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