In the opening chapter, we explain the importance of engaging critically with social entrepreneurship. We underline the need to make an incisive assessment of social entrepreneurship through the way we (still) publish, critique and imagine books in this field. To all those who want to embark on the path of social entrepreneurship, or are simply curious to hear more about the buzz surrounding social entrepreneurship, we say be aware: we need critique, and we need it now! The affirmative critiques we offer to social entrepreneurship are not based on a priori judgements of social entrepreneurship performed from afar, but are intimately related to specific, phenomenological events and observations. Furthermore, we recapitulate how this book draws upon and intervenes in the critical reception of social entrepreneurship. The chapter ends with an overview of the various chapters and the various critical perspectives and themes they draw on and address.
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Chris Steyaert and Pascal Dey
Edited by Anders Örtenblad
This chapter presents the research area and research questions and introduces the remaining chapters of the book. It is argued that while there are quite a few works on how corporate social responsibility (CSR) is practiced in various contexts, there is a need for more research on how CSR should be practiced by organizations in various generalized contexts, and, thus, that there is a need for a contingency model of CSR. A broad, general definition – based on Jeremy Moon’s work – in terms of seven aspects is introduced, and this definition is used as a common starting point for the book, in which the relevance of each aspect is examined for organizations in various generalized contexts. The chapter also presents the research questions for the book, which are to pay attention to and acknowledge the need for examining the relevance of CSR for organizations in different generalized contexts as an emerging research field, to explore the universality of CSR, to offer knowledge (as well as support for further knowledge-seeking) on how the general model of CSR needs to be adapted to become relevant to organizations within particular generalized contexts, and to begin the work on constructing a contingency model of the relevance of CSR for organizations in various generalized contexts.