Edited by Alain Fayolle and Harry Matlay
Chapter 17: Conclusions, Recommendations and an Agenda for Future Research in Social Entrepreneurship
Harry Matlay and Alain Fayolle INTRODUCTION The collection of chapters published in this volume offer ample evidence of the wide variety of concepts and contexts that can be legitimately considered or examined under the scope and remit of ‘Social Entrepreneurship’. This volume incorporates the latest thinking on, and ‘cutting edge’ research in, this fast-growing and rapidly expanding area of entrepreneurship. The handbook provides an international perspective on social entrepreneurship theory and practice, not only by virtue of its multinational authorship, but also by its cross-border focus on social entrepreneurs, their actions and their enterprises. The rapid development of a research topic invariably results in a growing volume of mixed quality publications, which can range from empirically rigorous, peer-refereed output to dogmatic and often superficial renditions of ‘how to do’ books. Social entrepreneurship, as an emergent area of academic endeavour, is no exception to the rule and an extensive literature search undertaken by us has highlighted that the expansion of specialist knowledge in this area follows closely the mixed quality developmental path exhibited by related topics, such as Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship Education and Social Capital (Ostrom and Ahn, 2003; Matlay, 2005; 2006). Differentiating between research output that is empirically rigorous as well as useful in practice and the haphazard, but seductive superficiality and ease of read of lesser publications is a considerable challenge faced by researchers engaged in Social Entrepreneurship theory-building. Furthermore, the delivery of timely research output that is easily accessible to a wide range of stakeholders and of practical relevance...
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