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 16: Ending Essay: Sociality and Economy in Social Entrepreneurship

Daniel Hjorth


Daniel Hjorth There was a time when economy was defined with reference to frugality, to saving, to the careful handling (hand, as in manus – Latin for hand – and later management) of resources with attention to the well-being of families, communities. Today, as we still hear the echoes of the cries of those affected by the so-called financial or credit crisis, economy is understood by reference to spending, excess, aggressive investment, competitiveness, and alluring lending–borrowing circles. For sure, economy has always been inherently tied to management, and management of one’s owns affairs: the Oxford English Dictionary rightfully explains the origin of the word to be found in the Greek oikonomia, meaning ‘household management’. We may read this as another inherent relationship between economy and the private, albeit not individual sphere. The household, the well-being of which is the purpose of economic handling in this sense, is not an autonomous, individual actor as in the much celebrated homo oeconomicus, always lionized by economists seeking to achieve by this offer of marriage a tie that binds (if not anchors) their models to a touchstone of the real. Economy has become a managerial economy, and in the process lost most of its attention to (or care for) community. Management is today understood as an act of an individual – the manager – for an individual: no one works merely for salary any more. You want me to lift my finger – present me to your bonus-programme. The individualistic approach, promoted by economic theory, has enjoyed tremendous...

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