Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
The three authors are scholars who publish and teach in the third sector or corporate social responsibility realms.
For them social entrepreneurship is a global phenomenon that impacts the lives of citizens by using innovative approaches to solving social problems in competition or in substitution of other solutions (especially public ones). The book came out from the first international academic conference on social entrepreneurship held in 2005 at IESE Business School, Barcelona. Therefore, the general aim of the book is to present some current research on the social entrepreneurship mainly rooted in business and management studies even if some chapters are drawn from other disciplines such as political science. The book is also an academicals defence of social entrepreneurship as a serious and fundamental field of academic study especially to increase our comprehension of the third sector and of the entrepreneurial phenomenon.
The book counts 16 chapters that are grouped in four parts. The introduction (Chapter 1), signed by Mair, Robinson and Hockerts brings some elements about the social enterprise phenomenon and presents the book. The authors have deliberately drawn the field wide which has the advantage to open the debate about what social entrepreneurship is and functioning but leads to a less consistent approach of the object. The first (Chapters 2‐5) part: “Perspectives and agenda for research”, that is explicit, provides an introduction to the main themes and issues within the study of social entrepreneurship. The second part (Chapters 6‐8) “Opportunities and intentions” is centred on the reasons that preside at the creation of social enterprises. The third part (Chapters 9‐12) “Strategy, structure and outcome” is dedicated to the study of the behaviour, the organization and the functioning of social enterprises. The last part (Chapters 13‐15): “Integrating sustainability and the environment” questions the social entrepreneurship realms as a unique research field. It also discusses about the capacity of the social enterprises to positively contribute to global and sustainable development.
According to the dominant American academics criterions this book is, undoubtedly, a major contribution to the study of social entrepreneurship. But it is also a perfect example of researches that are stuck in the governance ideology and prone surfing on theoretical fashions. The book will be perfect for students studying social entrepreneurship in MBA context and for those who want to publish on the field without really questioning the society as it goes. It a perfect illustration of publications that are technically or rhetorically canonical but that lack reflection.