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The emergence of social entrepreneurial activities: an explanatory framework of social entrepreneurship based on an embedded-process viewpoint

Hutschemaekers, B.P.D. (2012) The emergence of social entrepreneurial activities: an explanatory framework of social entrepreneurship based on an embedded-process viewpoint.

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Abstract:This thesis is inspired by an empirical case. A group of actors concerned with environmental and sustainable development in the eastern part of the Netherlands are starting to apply organizational forms and practices which are traditionally characteristic of for-profit business. They pursue social benefits by integrating economic and social value creation. These kind of actors are typified as so-called ‘social entrepreneurs’. They have been playing an increasingly important and prominent role in our society. Therefore the field of social entrepreneurship has received more attention from scholars. Researchers have focused their efforts on clarifying the concept and the definition of social entrepreneurship. However, no major advances have been made which enhance our understanding of this phenomenon. Consensus on this phenomenon is lacking. This discrepancy between the researchers is obstructing progress in this field. In an attempt to shake up this field, we do not focus our effort on clarifying the concept or definition of this phenomenon. We focus on the emergence of social entrepreneurial activities. Based on a process-oriented perspective we introduce an explanatory framework. This is composed of elements from contingency theory, social network theory, institutional theory and entrepreneurship theory. It describes the relationship between contingencies, embeddedness, and temporal orientation, leading to the emergence of social entrepreneurial activities. The explanatory framework is used to analyze the data obtained from the case study. We found that change in the task environment (contingencies) and change in the network (embeddedness) of the actors influence the (temporal) orientation of the involved actors. The orientation shifts under influence of these changes, which leads to the emergence of social entrepreneurial activities. We also found that contingencies have a greater influence on changing the orientation of the involved actors than the degree of embeddedness. Secondly, a relationship between change in the contingencies and change in the embeddedness was found. And, thirdly a relationship between changes in the orientation and the embeddedness was discovered. The results of this study should be seen as a complementary attempt to enhance our understanding of the emergence of social entrepreneurial activities. We contribute to this field by explaining the emergence of social entrepreneurial activities, based on a embedded-process viewpoint. This offers researchers and practitioners in the field of social entrepreneurship a better understanding of this interesting topic.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/62152
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