This paper aims to extend social entrepreneurship theory by investigating the darker sides of innovation and enterprise. Entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship theories regarding shifting equilibriums are considered alongside other traditions. This research presents how individuals see enterprises as dark and light and discusses how such perceptions are important to building emerging theories of light and dark social entrepreneurship.
The study uses a survey of public perceptions (n = 631) regarding the social and economic impact of a total of 15 different enterprises to create a map of the darker variations of enterprises. An 11-point scale was used to evaluate perceived impact.
The mapping of each enterprise on a coordinate plane resulted in four thematic areas: traditional enterprises (light social, light economic), taboo enterprises (dark social, light economic), dark enterprises (dark social, dark economic) and alternative enterprises (light social, dark economic). Some enterprises crossed between the thematic areas.
This study opens up new directions for research on dark social entrepreneurship and research on enterprises that influence social equilibriums.
This study provides guidance for practitioners and policymakers to better understand phenomena such as dark, taboo and alternative enterprises and their nuances.
This study allows for a broader look at social entrepreneurship, innovation and enterprise to better understand dark and light nuances. Similarities between the lighter and darker forms of enterprises are noted.
This study builds on dark entrepreneurship and dark social entrepreneurship theories and concepts using empirical methods.
Talmage, C., Bell, J. and Dragomir, G. (2019), "Searching for a theory of dark social entrepreneurship", Social Enterprise Journal, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 131-155. https://doi.org/10.1108/SEJ-06-2018-0046Download as .RIS
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