Reviewing Social Entrepreneurship Knowledge

  • Archana Singh
Part of the Contributions to Economics book series (CE)


This chapter elaborates the concept of social entrepreneurship in Indian and global contexts, within the existing theoretical knowledge and empirical evidence. The chapter starts with a discussion on theories of entrepreneurship and their development. Then, it explores the concept of social entrepreneurship. It also critically reviews social entrepreneurship literature, which is categorised into two major parts: first, content (social element and entrepreneurial element), and second, methodological review. The critique and research gaps, which are summarised towards the end of the review of literature, lead to the research questions.


  1. Achleitner A, Bassen A, Roder B (2009) An integrative framework for reporting in social entrepreneurship. Accessed 14 Aug 2010
  2. Alter SK (2006) Social enterprise models and their mission and money relationships. In: Nicholls A (ed) Social entrepreneurship: new models of sustainable change. Oxford, New York, pp 205–232Google Scholar
  3. Alter K (2007) Social enterprise typology. Accessed 19 March 2009
  4. Alvarez S, Barney JB (2007) Discovery and creation: alternative theories of entrepreneurial action. Strat Entrep J 1(1):11–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Alvord SH, Brown LD, Letts CW (2004) Social entrepreneurship and societal transformation: an exploratory study. J Appl Behav Sci 40(3):260–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ansari S, Munir K, Gregg T (2012) Impact at the ‘Bottom of the Pyramid’: the role of social capital in capability development and community empowerment. J Manag Stud 49(4):813–842CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ashoka (2006). Measuring effectiveness: a six year summary of methodology and findings. Accessed 14 Aug 2010
  8. Auerswald P (2009) Creating social value. Stanford Social Innovation Review, Spring, pp 49–55. Accessed 13 Dec 2014
  9. Austin JA, Stevenson H, Wei-Skillern J (2006a) Social and commercial entrepreneurship: same, different, or both? Entrep Theory Practice 30(1):1–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Austin JE, Leonard HB, Reficco E et al (2006b) Social entrepreneurship: it is for corporations, too. In Nicholls A (ed) Social entrepreneurship: new models of sustainable change. Oxford, New York, pp 169–180Google Scholar
  11. Bornstein D (2005) How to change the world: social entrepreneurs and the power of new ideas. Penguin Books, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  12. Boschee J (2006) Social entrepreneurship: the promise and the perils. In: Nicholls A (ed) Social entrepreneurship: new models of sustainable change. Oxford, New York, pp 356–390Google Scholar
  13. Boschee J, McClurg J (2003) Towards a better understanding of social entrepreneurship: some important distinctions. Institute of Social Entrepreneurs, Minnesota, MN. Accessed 13 Dec 2014
  14. Brinckerhoff PC (2000) Social entrepreneurship: the art of mission-based venture development. John Wiley & Sons, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  15. Brouard F, Hebb T, Madill J (2008) Development of a social enterprise typology in a Canadian context. Submission for entrep theory practice. Special issue on social entrepreneurship. Accessed 21 Aug 2011
  16. Carnwell R, Carson A (no date) The concepts of partnership and collaboration. Accessed 26 Feb 2012
  17. Chand VS, Misra S (2009) Teachers as educational-social entrepreneurs: the innovation-social entrepreneurship spiral. J Entrep 18(2):219–228Google Scholar
  18. Choi N, Majumdar S (2014) Social entrepreneurship as an essentially contested concept: opening a new avenue for systematic future research. J Bus Venturing 29(3):363–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Christie MJ, Honig B (2006) Social entrepreneurship: new research findings. J World Bus 41:1–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Clamp CA, Alhamis I (2010) Social entrepreneurship in the Mondragon Co-operative Corporation and the challenges of successful replication. J Entrep 9(2):149–177Google Scholar
  21. Clark C, Rosenzweig W, Long D et al (2003) Double bottom line project report: assessing social impact in double bottom line ventures-method catalog. Accessed 13 Aug 2010
  22. Corner PD, Ho M (2010) How opportunities develop in social entrepreneurship. Entrep Theory Practice 34(4):635–659CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Coulter M (2000) Entrepreneurship in action. Prentice Hall, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  24. Cunningham JB, Lischeron J (1991) Defining entrepreneurship. J Small Bus Manag 29:45–61Google Scholar
  25. Dart R (2004) The legitimacy of social enterprise. Non-profit Manag Leadersh 14(4):411–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Dees JG (1998) The meaning of social entrepreneurship. Accessed 20 Oct 2008
  27. Dees JG (2001) Social entrepreneurship: mobilising resources for success. Accessed 10 Oct 2011
  28. Dees JG, Anderson BB (2003) For-profit social ventures. Int J Entrep Educ, Special Issue on Social Entrepreneurship 2:1–26Google Scholar
  29. Dees JG, Emerson J, Economy P (2001) Enterprisingnonprofits: a toolkit for social entrepreneurs. John Wiley & Sons, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  30. Desa G (2011) Resource mobilisation in international social entrepreneurship: bricolage as a mechanism of institutional transformation. Entrep Theory Practice, Jan 1–25. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2010.00430.x
  31. Domenico MD, Tracey P, Haugh H (2009) The dialectic of social exchange: theorizing corporate-social enterprise collaboration. Organ Stud 30(08):887–907CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Domenico MD, Haugh H, Tracey P (2010) Social Bricolage: theorizing social value creation in social enterprise. Entrep Theory Practice 34(4):681–703CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Dorado S (2006) Social entrepreneurial ventures: different values so different process of creation, no? J Dev Entrep 11(4):319–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Drucker PF (1986) Innovation and entrepreneurship: practice and principles. East-West Press Pvt Ltd, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  35. Eckhardt JT, Shane SA (2003) Opportunities and entrepreneurship. J Manag 29(3):333–349Google Scholar
  36. Eisenhardt K (1989) Building theories from case study research. Acad Manag Rev 14(4): 488–511Google Scholar
  37. Elkington J, Hartigan P (2008) The power of unreasonable people: how social entrepreneurs create markets that change the world. Harvard Business Press, BostonGoogle Scholar
  38. Gartner WB (1985) A conceptual framework for describing the phenomenon of new venture creation. Acad Manag Rev 10(4):696–706Google Scholar
  39. Gartner WB (1988) “Who is an entrepreneur?” is the wrong question. Entrep Theory Practice 13(4):47–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Germak AJ, Singh KK (2010) Social entrepreneurship: changing the way social workers do business. Adm Social Work 34:79–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Gras D, Lumpkin GT (2012) Strategic foci in social and commercial entrepreneurship: a comparative analysis. J Social Entrep 3(1):6–23Google Scholar
  42. Gray M, Healy K, Crofts P (2003) Social enterprise: is it the business of social work? Aust Social Work 56(2):141–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Hasan S (2005) Social capital and social entrepreneurship in Asia: analysing the links. The Asia Pacific J Pub Adm 27(1):1–17Google Scholar
  44. Hasenfeld Y, Gidron B (2005) Understanding multi-purpose hybrid voluntary organisations: the contributions of theories on civil societies, social movements and non-profit organisations. J Civil Society 1(2):97–112Google Scholar
  45. Haugh H (2007) Community-led social venture creation. Entrep Theory Practice 31(2):161–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Hill TL, Kothari TH, Shea M (2010) Patterns of meaning in the social entrepreneurship literature: a research Platform. J Social Entrep 1(1):5–31Google Scholar
  47. Hockerts K (2006) Entrepreneurial opportunity in social purpose ventures. In: Mair J, Robinson J, Hockerts K (eds), Handbook of Research in Social entrepreneurship. Palgrave, London, pp 142–154. Accessed 20 Oct 2008
  48. Ireland RD, Webb JW (2007) A cross-disciplinary exploration of entrepreneurship research. J Manag 33(6):891–927Google Scholar
  49. Irwin D (2007) The future for social entrepreneurship and social enterprise. Cobweb Information Ltd., EnglandGoogle Scholar
  50. John D (2007) Social entrepreneurship in eye health: a sustainable and equitable model. In: Bhargava S (ed) Developmental aspects of entrepreneurship. Response Books (Business books from SAGE), New Delhi, pp 195–210Google Scholar
  51. Johnson S (2000). Literature review on social entrepreneurship. Accessed 14 July 2008
  52. Kistruck GM, Beamish PW (2010) The interplay of form, structure, and embeddedness in social intrapreneurship. Entrep Theory Practice 735–761. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2010.00371.x
  53. Kitzi J (2001) Recognising and assessing new opportunities. In: Dees JG, Emerson J, Economy P (eds) Enterprising nonprofits: a toolkit for social entrepreneurs. John Wiley & Sons, New York, pp 43–62Google Scholar
  54. Koc O, Yavuz C (no date) How to innovate socially? A study to analyse the relationships between entrepreneurial competencies and innovative behaviours of social entrepreneurs. Accessed 25 July 2011
  55. Korosec RL, Berman EM (2006) Municipal support for social entrepreneurship. Pub Adm Rev 66(3):448–462Google Scholar
  56. Korsgaard S, Anderson AR (2011) Enacting entrepreneurship as social value creation. Int Small Bus J 29(2):135–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Kramer MR (2005) Measuring innovation: evaluation in the field of social entrepreneurship. Skoll Foundation. Accessed 13 Aug 2010
  58. Leadbeater C (1997) The rise of social entrepreneur. Demos, LondonGoogle Scholar
  59. Light PC (2005) Searching social entrepreneurs: who they might be, where they might be, what they do. Paper presented at the annual meetings of the Association for Research on Nonprofit and Voluntary Associations, Nov 17–18. Accessed 02 Feb 2009
  60. Light PC (2006) Reshaping social entrepreneurship. Stanf Social Innov Rev 4(3):47–51. Accessed 02 Feb 2013
  61. Lumpkin GT, Dees GG (1996) Clarifying the entrepreneurial orientation construct and linking it to performance. Acad Manag Rev 21(1):135–172Google Scholar
  62. Maclean M, Harvey C, Gordon J (2012) Social innovation, social entrepreneurship and the practice of contemporary entrepreneurial philanthropy. Int Small Bus J 1–17. doi: 10.1177/0266242612443376
  63. Mair J, Marti I (2006) Social entrepreneurship research: a source of explanation, prediction and delight. J World Bus 41:36–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Mair J, Noboa E (2003) The emergence of social enterprises and their place in the new organisational landscape. Working Paper, WP No. 523, IESE Business School, University of Navarra. Accessed 26 June 2012
  65. Martin M (2004) Surveying social entrepreneurship: toward an empirical analysis of the performance revolution in the social sector. Accessed 14 Feb 2012
  66. Martin RL, Osberg S (2007) Social entrepreneurship: the case for a definition. Stanf Social Innov Rev, Spring 29–39Google Scholar
  67. Meyskens M, Robb-Post C, Stamp JA et al (2010) Social ventures from a resource-based perspective: an exploratory study assessing global Ashoka fellows. Entrep Theory Practice 661–680. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2010.00389.x
  68. Miller TL, Wesley CL (2010) Assessing mission and resources for social change: an organisational identity perspective on social venture capitalists’ decision criteria. Entrep Theory Practice 34(4):705–733CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Moroz PW, Hindle K (2012) Entrepreneurship as a process: toward harmonising multiple perspectives. Entrep Theory Practice 781–818. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2011.00452.x
  70. Morrison R (1991) We build the road as we travel. New Society Publishers, USAGoogle Scholar
  71. Mort GS, Weerawardena J, Carnegie K (2003) Social entrepreneurship: towards conceptualisation. Int J Nonprofit Volunt Sector Marketing 8(1):76–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Moss TW, Short JC, Payne GT et al (2010) Dual identities in social ventures: an exploratory study. Entrep Theory Practice, 1–26. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2010.00372.x
  73. Murphy PJ, Coombes SM (2009) A model of social entrepreneurial discovery. J Bus Ethics 87:325–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Neck H, Brush C, Allen E (2008) The landscape of social entrepreneurship. Bus Horiz 52:13–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Nicholls A (2005) Measuring impact in social entrepreneurship: new accountabilities to stakeholders and investors? Working paper, Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, Said Business School, University of OxfordGoogle Scholar
  76. Nicholls A (ed) (2006) Social entrepreneurship: new models of sustainable change. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  77. Nicholls A (2010) The legitimacy of social entrepreneurship: reflexive isomorphism in a pre-paradigmatic field. Entrep Theory Practice 34(4):611–633CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Nicholls A, Cho AH (2006) Social entrepreneurship: the structuration of a field. In: Nicholls A (ed) Social entrepreneurship: new models of sustainable change. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 99–118Google Scholar
  79. Onyx J, Leonard R (2010) The conversion of social capital into community development: an intervention in Australia’s Outback. Int J Urban Reg Res 34(2):381–397. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2009.00897.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Peredo AM, Chrisman JJ (2006) Toward a theory of community-based enterprise. Acad Manag Rev 31(2):309–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Peredo A, McLean M (2006) Social entrepreneurship: a critical review of the concept. J World Bus 41:56–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Piela J (2009) The definition of social entrepreneurship with special focus on social impact assessment: a literature review. Accessed 13 Aug 2010
  83. Prahalad CK (2004) Fortune at the bottom of the pyramid: eradicating poverty through profits. Wharton School Publishing, NJGoogle Scholar
  84. Praszkier R, Nowak A, Coleman PT (2010) Social entrepreneurs and constructive change: the wisdom of circumventing conflict. J Peace Psychol 16(2):153–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Ridley-Duff R (2007) Communitarian perspectives on social enterprise. Corp Gov 15(2):382–392Google Scholar
  86. Ripsas S (1998) Toward an interdisciplinary theory of entrepreneurship. Small Bus Econ 10:103–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Ruebottom T (2011) The microstructures of rhetorical strategy in social entrepreneurship: building legitimacy through heroes and villains. J Bus Venturing, (Article in Press). Accessed 29 July 2011
  88. Sarason Y, Dean T, Dillard JF (2006) Entrepreneurship as the nexus of individual and opportunity: a structuration view. J Bus Venturing 21:286–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Sarasvathy SD (2001) Causation and effectuation: toward a theoretical shift from economic inevitability to entrepreneurial contingency. Acad Manag Rev 26(2):243–263Google Scholar
  90. Sarasvathy SD, Dew N, Velamuri R et al (2003) Three views of entrepreneurial opportunity. In: Acs ZJ, Audretsch DB (eds) The international handbook of entrepreneurship. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, pp 141–160Google Scholar
  91. Schumpeter J (1934) The theory of economic development. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  92. Seelos C, Mair J (2005a) Social entrepreneurship: creating new business models to serve the poor. Bus Horiz 48(3):241–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Seelos C, Mair J (2005b) Sustainable development: how social entrepreneurs make it happen. Working Paper No. 611, IESE Business School, University of Navarra, Spain. Accessed 19 July 2011
  94. Seelos C, Mair J, Battilana J et al (2010) The embeddedness of social entrepreneurship: understanding variations across local communities. Working Paper, WP-858, Spain: IESE Business School-University of Navarra. Accessed 05 Feb 2013
  95. Sen A (2008a) Commodities and capabilities. Oxford University Press, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  96. Sen A (2008b) Inequality reexamined. Oxford University Press, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  97. Sen A (2010) Development as freedom. Oxford University Press, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  98. Shane S, Venkataraman N (2000) The promise of entrepreneurship as a field of research. Acad Manag Rev 25(1):217–226Google Scholar
  99. Sharir M, Lerner M (2006) Gauging the success of social ventures initiated by individual social entrepreneurs. J World Bus 41(1):6–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Short JC, Moss TW, Lumpkin GT (2009) Research in social entrepreneurship: past contributions and future opportunities. Strat Entrep J 3:161–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  101. Stevenson HH, Jarillo JC (1990) A paradigm of entrepreneurship: entrepreneurial management. Strat Manag J 11:17–27Google Scholar
  102. Tan W, Williams J, Tan T (2005) Defining the ‘social’ in ‘social entrepreneurship’: altruism and entrepreneurship. Int Entrep Manag J 1:353–365CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. Thompson J (2002) The world of the social entrepreneur. Int J Public Sector Manag 15(5):412–431CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  104. Thorton PH (1999) The sociology of entrepreneurship. Ann Rev Sociol 25:19–46 Entrep Theory Practice 31(5):667–685Google Scholar
  105. Tracey P, Jarvis O (2007) Toward a theory of social venture franchising. Entrep Theory Practice 31(5):667–685CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  106. Trivedi C (2010) Towards a social ecological framework for social entrepreneurship. J Entrep 19(1):63–80Google Scholar
  107. Trivedi C, Stokols D (2011) Social enterprises and corporate enterprises: fundamental differences and defining Features. J Entrep 20(1):1–32Google Scholar
  108. Urbano D, Toledano N, Soriano DR (2010) Analysing social entrepreneurship from an institutional perspective: evidence from Spain. J Social Entrep 1(1):54–69Google Scholar
  109. Vasakarla (2008) A study on social entrepreneurship and the characteristics of social entrepreneurs. ICFAI J Manag Res 7(4):32–40Google Scholar
  110. Venkataraman S (1997) The distinctive domain of entrepreneurship research: an editor’s perspective. In: Katz J, Brockhaus R (eds) Advances in entrepreneurship, firm emergence, and growth. CT, JAI Press, Greenwich, pp 119–138Google Scholar
  111. Waddock A, Post JE (1991) Social entrepreneurs and catalytic change. Public Adm Rev 51(5):393–401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  112. Weerawardena J, Mort G (2006) Investigating social entrepreneurship: a multi-dimensional model. J World Bus 41:21–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  113. Wei-Skillern J, Austin JE, Leonard H et al (2007) Entrepreneurship in the social sector. Sage, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  114. Welter F (2011) Contextualizing entrepreneurship-conceptual challenges and ways forward. Entrep Theory Practice 35(1):165–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  115. Westlund H, Gawell M (2012) Building social capital for social entrepreneurship. Ann Public Coop Econ 83(1):101–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  116. Youssry A (2007) Social entrepreneurs and enterprise development. Egypt: Sustainable Development Association. Accessed 14 Nov 2012
  117. Yujuico E (2008) Connecting the dots in social entrepreneurship through the capabilities approach. Socio-Econ Rev 6:493–513CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  118. Zafirovski M (1999) Probing into the social layers of entrepreneurship: outlines of the sociology of enterprise. Entrep Regional Development 11(4):351–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  119. Zahra SA (2007) Contextualizing theory building in entrepreneurship research. J Bus Venturing 22:443–452CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  120. Zahra SA, Rawhouser HN, Bhawe N et al (2008) Globalization of social entrepreneurship opportunities. Strat Entrep J 2(1):117–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  121. Zahra SA, Gedajlovic E, Neubaum DO et al (2009) A typology of social entrepreneurs: motives, search processes and ethical challenges. J Bus Venturing 24:519–532CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  122. Ziegler R (2010) Innovations in doing and being: capability innovations at the intersection of Schumpeterian political economy and human development. J Social Entrep 1(2):255–272Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer India 2016

Open Access This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, School of Management and Labour StudiesTata Institute of Social SciencesMumbaiIndia

Personalised recommendations