Patterns in Social Entrepreneurship Research

Patterns in Social Entrepreneurship Research

Edited by Jill Kickul and Sophie Bacq

The contributors expertly focus on the individual, organizational and institutional levels of social entrepreneurship. They address the role of personal values and leadership in the conduct of social entrepreneurial initiatives while stressing the importance of stakeholders in relation to human resource management, innovation or opportunity discovery. Finally, they analyze the role of institutions in legitimating social entrepreneurs' actions.

Chapter 7: Stakeholder salience and disruptive innovation in social entrepreneurship

Todd W. Moss and Moriah Meyskens

Subjects: business and management, social entrepreneurship, development studies, social entrepreneurship, politics and public policy, social entrepreneurship


This chapter advances theory in social entrepreneurship by exploring how stakeholder salience affects the mechanisms that underlie disruptive innovation. Disruptive innovation research has typically been applied to studies of product development and the broader commercial sector, leaving a gap in our understanding of its relevance in other contexts. We postulate that traditional ideas of disruptive innovation based on customer power and resource allocation may be generalized when key assumptions are relaxed. We contribute to the social entrepreneurship literature by explaining how stakeholder salience extends the idea of customer power in contexts where there are many influential stakeholders. We further delineate how stakeholder salience alters current explanations for how resource allocation may affect disruptive innovation. Throughout the chapter, we highlight how these ideas are particularly germane to research in social entrepreneurship. We also underscore the need for practitioners to be aware of the ways in which stakeholder salience influences social ventures and the importance of assessing the deleterious or helpful effects stakeholders may have on disruptive innovation.

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