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Corporate Social Entrepreneurship  

Elisa Alt

Corporate social entrepreneurship (CSE) is a subject of growing interest for scholars in the areas of corporate entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, and corporate social responsibility as it has the potential of engaging corporations in activities that transform traditional practices, advance corporate purpose, and promote positive social change. CSE consists of identifying, evaluating, and exploiting entrepreneurial opportunities that address social and environmental problems through market means from within corporations. Dual value creation—the simultaneous pursuit of social and economic value creation—is a core element of CSE, however, in organizations that have not been originally designed for this purpose. As an umbrella concept, CSE embraces similar terms such as social intrapreneurship and sustainable corporate entrepreneurship. CSE often starts autonomously through managers and employees acting as social intrapreneurs, until initiatives are accepted and integrated into the firm’s concept of strategy. CSE introduces a societal concern to corporate entrepreneurship, contextualizes social entrepreneurship in corporations, and advances entrepreneurial approaches to corporate social responsibility—all of which are topics that remain relatively unexplored and that offer vibrant opportunities for future research.


For-Purpose Enterprises and Hybrid Organizational Forms: Implications for Governance and Strategy  

Marco S. Giarratana and Martina Pasquini

A company’s social purpose has become a key factor that should be considered in organizational design and strategic decision-making. For-purpose enterprises are for-profit, financially self-sustained organizations that embed a social aim as one of their main objectives. Companies that simultaneously must envisage a double purpose, namely, social and competitive, face an even greater complexity, that is, a likely risk of internal logics’ tensions and structural drifts. Scholars have proposed different theoretical and operative frameworks; on the one hand, they describe ad hoc business models to foster synergies between the social impact and economic and competitive-oriented actions. On the other hand, they also try to focus on an organization’s governance, suggesting incentive schemes and organizational designs that could smooth trade-offs and tensions, which could jeopardize a company’s viability. Following scholars have differentiated two clusters of studies: (a) instrumental–strategic–economic stream and (b) injunctive–social–behavioral. The first approach perceives as critical the balance between social-oriented aims and profit with a viable business model. Under this perspective, the concept of synergies between the two aims is critical. Its mainstream framework is the stakeholder theory approach while recent approaches, rooted especially in marketing and strategic human capital studies, bring to the central stage how corporate social responsible actions develop social identity processes with focal stakeholders, which are responsible for reciprocity behaviors. These different perspectives, although complementary, could imply significant differences for the organization design, product strategy, and the role and power of the chief sustainability officer as well as allocation of resources and capabilities. The second group of studies—injunctive–social–behavioral—is focused on understanding how to maintain active social aims under economic and competitive constrains. These works are particularly focused in investigating the intrinsic motivations of doing good and the type of tensions that could arise in organizations with a social mission. The works analyze the potential drifts, risks, and solutions that could mitigate tension and trade-offs. In this stream, the first line of work is related to social entrepreneurship, especially in developing countries, while the second is more focused on human-resource incentive schemes and organizational designs that preserve a company’s social goals under economic constrains.


Social Capital and Founder, Team, and Firm Networks in Entrepreneurship  

Ha Hoang

Entrepreneurial activity is facilitated by the ties that connect founders and their venture to a broader network of actors. This insight on the value of social capital has been enriched by a large body of research that builds on core concepts of network content, governance, and structure. Network content refers to the resources, information and social support that is exchanged or flows between actors. Governance encompasses the mechanisms that organize and regulate the exchange. Network structure refers to broader patterns created from the relationships between actors. With these building blocks, key findings that have emerged over 30 years of research can be organized into two domains: how networks influence entrepreneurial outcomes and how networks develop over the entrepreneurial process. Core findings regarding the performance consequences of social capital underscore its benefits while identifying limitations due to decreasing returns to growing and maintaining a large network or to contingencies tied to the stage of the venture’s growth. Our understanding of the sources of network evolution and the resulting patterns have also developed significantly. As a motor of network change, scholars have emphasized the goal-oriented behavior of the entrepreneur, but recognize social relationships also engender mutual concern, obligation, and emotional attachment. From a focus on founder and founding team ties to start-up, small firm networks, the literature now spans multiple levels and accounts for contextual variation between industries and institutional environments. Advances within each of these domains of inquiry have led to rich insights and greater conceptual complexity. Future research opportunities will arise that leverage cross-fertilization of the process and performance research streams.