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Examining the motivations for social entrepreneurship using Max Weber’s typology of rationality

Makarand Mody (School of Hospitality Administration, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Jonathon Day (School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA)
Sandra Sydnor (School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA)
William Jaffe (School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 13 June 2016

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to utilize a framework from classic sociology – Max Weber’s Typology of Rationality – to understand the motivations for social entrepreneurship in responsible tourism in India. The critical role of the social entrepreneur in effecting the phenomenon of social entrepreneurship has been largely under-recognized. The authors seek to explore, develop and enhance Weber’s theoretical arguments in the context of the tourism industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used a constructivism paradigm and Seidman’s (2006) Three Interview Series technique to obtain the narratives of two social entrepreneurs in India. Data were analyzed using a hybrid thematic coding procedure.

Findings

Findings indicate that there exists a dynamic interplay between the formal and substantive rationalities that underlie the behavior of social entrepreneurs. The authors also discuss how entrepreneurs draw upon their formal and substantive repertoires to create their identities through the simultaneous processes of apposition (“Me”) and opposition (“Not Me”).

Practical implications

The findings provide an important recognition of the impact of formal and substantive rationalities on the conceptualization, implementation and manifestation of social enterprise for a variety of stakeholders.

Originality/value

This paper makes a significant contribution to understanding the why and the how of social entrepreneurship in responsible tourism. It provides a framework that can be widely applied to develop and enhance Weberian theory and further the understanding of the fundamental nature of human behavioral phenomena in tourism and beyond.

Keywords

Citation

Mody, M., Day, J., Sydnor, S. and Jaffe, W. (2016), "Examining the motivations for social entrepreneurship using Max Weber’s typology of rationality", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 28 No. 6, pp. 1094-1114. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-05-2014-0238

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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