Social Entrepreneurship

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Entrepreneurship as a Field of Science (25E32000)
Session 01
Kwan Jin Yao (445636)

“The Past and Current State of Art in Entrepreneurship Research” Considering the current state of art in entrepreneurship research, what would be the most interesting topics for you? Please also argue for why it would be interesting based on course literature and your own reflections on entrepreneurship. Find one high quality journal article that would best complement the readings of this session with your own research interest. Please provide full references.

Social Enterprise and Social Entrepreneurship
Towards a Convergent Theory of the Entrepreneurial Process (Chell, 2007)

Whereas traditional corporations are premised upon profit maximisation, and entrepreneurs are similarly focused on generating profits and returns, social entrepreneurs are – in addition – deeply cognisant of the need to generate returns for their communities and societies. Given the growing protests against large companies after the recent global financial crisis, the perceived erosion of business integrity amongst leaders and managers, as well as widening socio-economic inequalities between the haves and the have-nots, many have sought to apply entrepreneurial and commercial strategies to improve the well-being of different individuals and their corresponding environments. Social enterprise and social entrepreneurship have therefore emerged as interesting and meaningful themes in entrepreneurship research.

While none of the three prescribed readings made direct mention of the two themes of social enterprise and social entrepreneurship, Kuratko (2006) identified entrepreneurial ethics as “a growing area of research in the past decade” (Kuratko, 2006, 485), and referenced a research article which offered “a theoretical framework of ethical behaviour and a comparative analysis of ethical perceptions of ethical perceptions of managers, of large, mostly publicly traded corporations … and the owners and managers of smaller companies” (Kuratko, 2006, 487). It would be reasonable to posit – based on a generalised interpretation of Lawrence Kohlberg’s stages of moral development (Kohlberg, 1981) – that a commitment to social enterprise and social entrepreneurship is of a higher developmental stage vis-à-vis adherence to entrepreneurial ethics, with moral reasoning as the basis for ethical behaviour. Beyond the conformity to law and order and social norms at the convention stage, social entrepreneurs could display a predilection to question and expand the aforementioned norms.

It is hard to disagree that the scholastic study of entrepreneurial ethics is extremely crucial.

Furthermore Welter and Lasch (2008) sought to demonstrate the value of variety in research, a variety “that depends on the different national, methodological, and thematic contexts entrepreneurship research takes place in” (Welter and Lasch, 2008, 245). The same framework of analysis of entrepreneurship around the world can certainly be employed, when evaluating the academic research of social enterprise and social entrepreneurship.

Social Enterprise and Social Entrepreneurship

There are many reasons why, based on the course literature and one’s personal reflections on entrepreneurship, that the fields of social enterprise and social entrepreneurship will be fascinating for academic discourse research. First, from the get-go, as it is with entrepreneurship itself, the lack of definition and the notion of entrepreneurship as an emerging field mean that “ontological and epistemological base[s]” must be established in order to define boundaries for the field and “to contribute to theory building as well as to establish legitimacy of the field” (Welter and Lasch, 2008, 245). In other words, the absence of a credible research paradigm in the field of entrepreneurship provides many opportunities for exploration. The present definition highlighted by Fayolle, Kyrö, and Uljin describes...
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