To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Research in the Social Enterprise Journal – from the margins to the mainstream

Bob Doherty (The York Management School, University of York, York, UK)

Social Enterprise Journal

ISSN: 1750-8614

Article publication date: 5 February 2018




The purpose of this paper is to review the development and impact of the Social Enterprise Journal (SEJ) from its inception in 2005 until present day.


The paper analyses the thematic content of SEJ and its impact data from 2005 until 2017.


SEJ has broken new ground in the study of social enterprise (SE). It was the first journal back in 2005 to commence the exploration of this field and since has been the first to publish works on defining SE, their performance management, critical perspectives plus international differences. The paper shows that in the early years, SEJ was dominated by conceptual work aiming to understand SE plus their governance and performance management, which was mainly based on UK descriptive case studies and uncritical. By 2010, SEJ became established internationally with various issues being 100 per cent dominated by international aspects of SE. Recent more critical work has also enabled a process of “myth busting” in the SE field. This paper also shows the growth of SEJ in downloads and citations.

Practical implications

The paper demonstrates the important role SEJ has played in both improving practice and informing policy.


The paper is the first to review the development and impact of SEJ.



The establishment and growth of SEJ has been a huge collective effort from a range of well-meaning talented people, including my original mentor Professor John Thompson, associate editors Simon Teasdale, Chris Mason and Janelle Kerlin all of whom have been guest editors of special issues, All the first-class reviewers who never said no; Rory Ridley-Duff, Roger Spear, Alex Murdock, Mary O’Shaughnessy, Richard Hazenberg, Kai Hockerts, Fred Seddon, Fergus Lyon, Michael Roy and Mike Bull. Plus, the great guest editors who had the vision to craft landmark special issues in international aspects such as Jacques Defourny, Marthe Nyssens and Janelle Kerlin. Finally, all the authors particularly those who have provided highly cited works such as Helen Haugh, Ken Peattie, Jacques Defourny and Marthe Nyssens plus all the very helpful supportive team at Emerald including; Simon Linacre, Richard Whitefield, Patti Davies, Helen Alexander, Sean O’Dowd and Rebecca Rozenberg.


Doherty, B. (2018), "Research in the Social Enterprise Journal – from the margins to the mainstream", Social Enterprise Journal, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 108-116.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited