Handbook of Research on Social Entrepreneurship
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Handbook of Research on Social Entrepreneurship

Edited by Alain Fayolle and Harry Matlay

This timely Handbook provides an empirically rigorous overview of the latest research advances on social entrepreneurship, entrepreneurs and enterprises. It incorporates seventeen original chapters on definitions, concepts, contexts and strategy, including a critical overview and an agenda for future research in social entrepreneurship.
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Chapter 5: Socially Constructed Opportunities in Social Entrepreneurship: A Structuration Model

Giovany Cajaiba-Santana


* Giovany Cajaiba-Santana INTRODUCTION Social entrepreneurship is still emerging as an area for academic inquiry. Its theoretical frameworks have not yet been adequately explored, and there is considerable room for contributions to theory and practice (Short et al., 2009). Research on this subject has increased over the last 10 years and there is a considerable body of literature concerned with its definitions (Dees, 1998; Weerawardena and Mort, 2006; Mair and Martí, 2006), the social value creation (Stevens et al., 2008), motivations (Mair and Noboa, 2005) and case studies. However, there is still a void concerning what is already broadly accepted as central in the study of traditional entrepreneurship: the very concept of opportunities. To date, researchers have failed to distinguish the particularities of the concept of social entrepreneurship opportunity. Shane and Venkataraman’s seminal work (Shane and Venkataraman, 2000) played a decisive role in placing the concept of opportunity as a paradigm for entrepreneurship research. They defined opportunity as ‘those situations in which new goods, services, raw materials, and organizing methods can be introduced and sold at greater than their cost of production’ (p. 207). This definition is not adequately applicable to the field of social entrepreneurship for two main reasons. First because it does not take into account the social value creation element of social entrepreneurship which is seen as central to the definition of the phenomenon (Mair and Martí, 2006). Second because it does not embrace the socially constructed nature of an opportunity which, as will be shown later in...

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