Re-assessing Schumpeterian assumptions regarding entrepreneurship and the social
Journal article, 2012

Purpose - In recent discussions on social entrepreneurship, there have been calls for the discipline to make better use of general theories of entrepreneurship. This article argues that while the literature may not be explicitly theoretical, it often draws upon taken-for-granted concepts inherited from Joseph Schumpeter. Design/methodology/approach - The text seeks to identify Schumpeterian assumptions within the social entrepreneurship literature, and introduce alternative perspectives on "the social" and "entrepreneurship", drawn from the social theory of Gabriel Tarde. These are then discussed in the context of the social entrepreneurial initiative Hand in Hand. Findings - The article identifies and re-assesses three assumptions: That of the social as container; that of capitalism-specific societal dynamism; and that of the atomistic, non-inventive entrepreneur. Originality/value - By re-imagining "the social" and "entrepreneurship" through the work of Tarde, the article suggests, scholars can develop new conceptualisations of social entrepreneurship.


Karl Palmås

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Entrepreneurship and Strategy

Social Enterprise Journal

1750-8614 (ISSN)

Vol. 8 2

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)

Driving Forces

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Subject Categories


Business Administration

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