The field of social entrepreneurship is also experiencing a set of challenges

The field of social entrepreneurship is also

This preview shows page 5 - 6 out of 12 pages.

The field of social entrepreneurship is also experiencing a set of challenges common to many nascent domains in that it is shaped or dominated by only a relatively small number of actors (Nicholls and Cho 2006). Among these actors are a few individuals (e.g., Bill Drayton, Jeff Skoll), a few foundations and affiliates (e.g., Ashoka, Skoll, Schwab, the Aspen Institute), and select media intermediaries (e.g., author David Bornstein, the maga- zine Fast Company , as well as PBS’s television series New Heroes ). These powerful actors provide resources and celebrity to those who are able and/or willing to help them achieve their objectives, and they therefore have been very effective in shaping the agendas and initiatives put forth by both social entrepreneurs and researchers. Local embeddedness (Shaw and Carter 2007, Mair and Marti 2009) also appears to be a driving assump- tion in social entrepreneurship research. Whereas many social innovations are created in locally embedded con- texts, there exist powerful examples of social innovations that travel well (microfinance) and social entrepreneurial organizations that are born global, such as Cafédi- rect. Social entrepreneurs also exist outside of as well as within existing corporations (Hemingway 2005). More recently, Austin and Reficco (2005) suggest the need to acknowledge and sustain corporate social intrapreneurs as integral to the process of corporate social entrepreneurship. The authors’ focus is on inte- grating social values within organizations while cogener- ating social value through partnerships with other orga- nizations. Some recent work by Kistruck and Beamish (2010) heads in this direction by emphasizing the impor- tance of social intrapreneurial efforts within existing organizations. Summary To summarize, we believe that a mission-focused defi- nition of social entrepreneurship provides the field with the potential to offer something unique to organization science. We also believe that current theories of orga- nization, both micro and macro, are unable to explain many of the social processes inherent in the creation of social value. This does not mean that we need to rein- vent the wheel and build brand new theories of organi- zation, but it does mean developing new insights into, for example, identity, networks, and institutions, with the potential to enrich theorizing in these areas. It also means counterbalancing purely individual-level analyses that have a tendency to idealize social entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurship with other perspectives that take context and social dynamics into account. Research Opportunities We now focus on a number of research directions we believe hold the most promise for social entrepreneur- ship scholars. Mair and Marti (2006) suggest future directions in the areas of structuration theory, institu- tional entrepreneurship, social capital, and social move- ments; Short et al. (2009) suggest a number of theoret- ical ideas that may be relevant to the study of social entrepreneurship. We build on their insights but also offer new ways in which to synthesize and extend some of these approaches. First, we begin with a call to

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture