Social Innovation and Sustainable Entrepreneurship
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Social Innovation and Sustainable Entrepreneurship

Edited by Maritza I. Espina, Phillip H. Phan and Gideon D. Markman

The rapid and formative rise in research on social innovation and entrepreneurship means that theoretical frameworks are still being created, while traditional notions of economic efficiency and social welfare are tested. The field is progressing fastest in the measurement and measuring of social entrepreneurial effectiveness. Social innovators, who draw from philanthropy, as well as capital markets, for financial resources, have adopted the lean start up as a paradigm for their organization logics.
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Chapter 7: Social entrepreneurs and field-level change: an institutional process model of social entrepreneurship

Yusi W. Turell and Andrew G. Earle


In this chapter, we examine the processes of the ‘social innovation school’ of social entrepreneurs, who utilize their market-based and/or market-altering organization (i.e., social enterprise) as a mechanism to change organizational fields. We flip the traditional view of field-level change as a mechanism to organizational viability and growth, to consider organizations as a mechanism to field-level change. We explore and model: deliberate and emergent pathways to field-level change; field-level institutional assets that are generated through social enterprise business models; institutional thresholds; and unusual forms of coevolution between organizations and fields. Our research undergirds conceptions of social entrepreneurs as field-level institutional entrepreneurs and identifies a novel form of hybrid organization with both organization-serving and field-serving logics. Additionally, we integrate social enterprises’ ‘hard’ business models with ‘soft’ institutional processes to present a realistic view of multilevel institutional change.

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