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 10: Social Entrepreneurs’ Actions in Networks

Chantal Hervieux and Marie-France B. Turcotte


Chantal Hervieux and Marie-France B. Turcotte INTRODUCTION Research has shown that social entrepreneurship (SE) organizations present many different variations: cooperatives, non-profits, for-profits, hybrids, partnerships, collaboration, alliances (Dees, 1998; Dees and Anderson, 2003), hence no one legal form of organizing can be said to account for all SE initiatives. The only common feature found in SE literature is the priority placed on social value creation and the socio-economic orientation of the initiative (Hervieux et al., 2010). The challenge in defining any phenomenon is to provide for a definition that is neither too narrow nor too broad. In SE, narrow definitions are those that define SE as solely the commercial or business ways of non-profit organizations (Austin et al, 2006). Adoption of such a definition would thus exclude all for-profits that have as priority the pursuit of a social mission. We feel this is not warranted, and our position on this matter is supported by previous SE literature as most would not favour a definition based mainly on the legal status of the organization. At the other end of the spectrum, overly broad definitions of SE go as far as to include all socially entrepreneurial activity in its definition even when the organization does not have as priority the pursuit of a social mission (Peredo and McLean, 2006). In these definitions of SE, one would thus include for-profit organizations involved in innovative corporate social responsibility (ICSR). In our definition of the boundaries of SE we choose to see SE as ending where...

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