Table of Contents

Historical Foundations of Entrepreneurship Research

Historical Foundations of Entrepreneurship Research

Edited by Hans Landström and Franz T. Lohrke

This book historicizes entrepreneurship research, its primary thesis being ‘history matters’. Expert contributors discuss the field’s long history and explore whether it has developed a mature and comprehensive knowledge base. The intellectual roots of several important theories are then examined in depth because, as entrepreneurship research has become more theory driven, and scholars have borrowed theories from many different fields, it becomes increasingly important to understand their origin. Finally, the book demonstrates how economic history research (for example, the historical and institutional context of entrepreneurial behaviour) can contribute to our understanding of entrepreneurship.

Chapter 14: Social Entrepreneurship: A Historical Review and Research Agenda

Todd W. Moss, G.T. Lumpkin and Jeremy C. Short

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship


Todd W. Moss, G.T. Lumpkin and Jeremy C. Short INTRODUCTION Social entrepreneurship (SE) research is currently in a nascent state, yet recent reviews of this stream project a future marked by a variety of contexts and theoretical foundations to describe and explain the SE phenomenon (Short et al., 2009). From its beginnings in the public policy sphere, SE research has grown to include research in nonprofit and forprofit contexts (e.g. Harjula, 2006; Haugh, 2007; Waddock and Post, 1991). Additionally, SE research has expanded from samples in the United States to a variety of countries such as the United Kingdom (Spear, 2006), Canada (Anderson et al., 2006), China (Ma and Parish, 2006), Kenya (Ndemo, 2006), Ukraine (Phillips, 2005), and New Zealand (Luke and Verreynne, 2006), as well as multinational samples (Spear and Bidet, 2005). SE research initially focused on individual ‘heroes’ and anecdotal evidence, yet today it is becoming more theory-driven and research is gaining a foothold in top management and entrepreneurship outlets (Short et al., 2009). For example, current SE research draws from diverse perspectives such as institutional theory, Austrian economics, and agency theory (e.g. Chamlee-Wright, 2008; Townsend and Hart, 2008; Tracey and Jarvis, 2007). Given the broad spectrum of SE research, in this chapter we espouse a broad definition of social entrepreneurship as a process whereby resources are combined in new ways to explore and exploit opportunities for social value creation by meeting social needs, stimulating social change, or creating new organizations (Mair and Marti, 2006). To shed light...

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