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Appears in Collections:Management, Work and Organisation Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The (R) evolution of the social entrepreneurship concept: a critical historical review
Author(s): Teasdale, Simon
Bellazzecca, Enrico
de Bruin, Anne
Roy, Michael J
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Keywords: social entrepreneurship
critical historical review
bibliometric analysis
Issue Date: Apr-2023
Date Deposited: 11-Jan-2024
Citation: Teasdale S, Bellazzecca E, de Bruin A & Roy MJ (2023) The (R) evolution of the social entrepreneurship concept: a critical historical review. <i>Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly</i>, 52 (1), pp. 212S-240S.
Abstract: The contested concept of social entrepreneurship has gained particular prominence in academic literature over the last few decades. To explore how patterns of understandings relating to social entrepreneurship have emerged and shifted over time, we undertook a critical historical review focusing on the most highly cited social entrepreneurship articles in each of five time periods over the last 30 years. We identify four thematic areas—conceptualization, theoretical approaches, the search for data, and social change outcomes—characteristic of each period, allowing us to plot the terrain of social entrepreneurship scholarship over time. We show how patterns emerge across these themes over time and relate our analysis to wider developments in the field. In concluding, we discuss how the concept has been theoretically and conceptually enriched by an ability to accommodate critique.
Rights: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
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