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Challenging tensions: critical, theoretical and empirical perspectives on social enterprise

Michael Bull (Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, Manchester, UK)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 1 August 2008




The purpose of this paper is to introduce the special issue, which explores the concept and significance of social enterprise and social entrepreneurship internationally.


This introductory article examines the literature that exists to date and presents an outline of some of the fundamental issues and the challenging tensions within the conceptualisation of social enterprise. The article concludes with a discussion of critical future research needs.


The findings suggest that a critical perspective is required in order to add originality and value to this developing area of research.


The papers presented raise some interesting issues about current conceptualisations of social enterprise and entrepreneurship, challenging tensions from critical, theoretical and empirical perspectives. The Special Issue seeks to expand the debate in social enterprise and bring to the fore some critical perspective in order to highlight alternative views which are often in conflict with the wave of euphoria and optimism that is driving current theoretical development in the field of social enterprise and entrepreneurship.



Bull, M. (2008), "Challenging tensions: critical, theoretical and empirical perspectives on social enterprise", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 14 No. 5, pp. 268-275.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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