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The causal mechanisms of social capital in social entrepreneurship

The causal mechanisms of social capital in social entrepreneurship
The causal mechanisms of social capital in social entrepreneurship
Social entrepreneurship is a multilevel phenomenon emerging from dynamic interactions between agency and structures at institutional, individual and community levels. Social entrepreneurs must bridge gaps between different individuals, organisations, industries, societal sectors through networking. However, little effort has been made to develop theories to explain how social networks/capital work and little empirical evidence has been provided. This paper aims to close this gap by developing a critical realist analysis of the role of social capital in social entrepreneurship. We draw on social capital theory and critical realism and propose that social capital is the inherent causal power embedded in social networks. As a causal power, social capital may or may not be actualised and, when actualised, it enables entrepreneurial actions to create social value. Through a multiple-case study that involves 45 semi-structured interviews, we identify three mechanisms – sparking, manifesting and scaling – through which social entrepreneurs use their social capital to obtain information, knowledge, market access, business resources, power and influence. These mechanisms enable entrepreneurial actions to create social and economic value. This paper develops our understanding of SE as a multi-level phenomenon by analysing the relations between individual networks and social capital, organisational resources and social sector market. It also extends social capital theory by exploring social capital in SE and highlighting its enabling effects on entrepreneurial actions."
0065-0668
Hu, Xiaoti
aa911c15-cebf-4cc2-b891-edcebccc9e2a
Zimmermann, Angelika
f8676b1e-6258-48b0-abe0-461ce8fe8333
Marlow, Susan
ae80ef80-c9e1-4a6e-bb27-bd2e0c8b5208
Hu, Xiaoti
aa911c15-cebf-4cc2-b891-edcebccc9e2a
Zimmermann, Angelika
f8676b1e-6258-48b0-abe0-461ce8fe8333
Marlow, Susan
ae80ef80-c9e1-4a6e-bb27-bd2e0c8b5208

Hu, Xiaoti, Zimmermann, Angelika and Marlow, Susan (2020) The causal mechanisms of social capital in social entrepreneurship. Academy of Management Proceedings, 1. (doi:10.5465/AMBPP.2020.21150abstract).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Social entrepreneurship is a multilevel phenomenon emerging from dynamic interactions between agency and structures at institutional, individual and community levels. Social entrepreneurs must bridge gaps between different individuals, organisations, industries, societal sectors through networking. However, little effort has been made to develop theories to explain how social networks/capital work and little empirical evidence has been provided. This paper aims to close this gap by developing a critical realist analysis of the role of social capital in social entrepreneurship. We draw on social capital theory and critical realism and propose that social capital is the inherent causal power embedded in social networks. As a causal power, social capital may or may not be actualised and, when actualised, it enables entrepreneurial actions to create social value. Through a multiple-case study that involves 45 semi-structured interviews, we identify three mechanisms – sparking, manifesting and scaling – through which social entrepreneurs use their social capital to obtain information, knowledge, market access, business resources, power and influence. These mechanisms enable entrepreneurial actions to create social and economic value. This paper develops our understanding of SE as a multi-level phenomenon by analysing the relations between individual networks and social capital, organisational resources and social sector market. It also extends social capital theory by exploring social capital in SE and highlighting its enabling effects on entrepreneurial actions."

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 20 July 2020
Venue - Dates: 80th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management: Broadening our Sight, 2020-08-07 - 2020-08-11

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 476396
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/476396
ISSN: 0065-0668
PURE UUID: e073e046-c2e5-47c8-a90c-9e6cd4627522
ORCID for Xiaoti Hu: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0272-9842

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 20 Apr 2023 16:30
Last modified: 23 Feb 2024 03:03

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Contributors

Author: Xiaoti Hu ORCID iD
Author: Angelika Zimmermann
Author: Susan Marlow

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