In Research


Year: 2019
Published in: FG Entrepreneurship & Innovationsmanagement (EIM) – (TU Berlin)
Cited as: Mostovova, E., Kratzer, J., & Ehrenhard, M L. (2019). Social innovation & social entrepreneurship: Conceptual insights & empirical contributions. Berlin: Technische Universität Berlin.


The main purpose of this doctoral thesis is to improve our understanding of social innovation and social entrepreneurship phenomena and the process of social value creation. The four articles add to conceptualization efforts and make empirical contributions on the types of social ventures as well as operationalization and measurement of social value generation. Methods used combine structural literature analysis, text coding techniques and methods of quantitative analysis (e.g. cluster analysis and structural equation model).

The dissertation firstly displays different appearances of the phenomena social innovation and social entrepreneurship in various academic research areas and reveals influential discussions, key contributors and most influencing definitions, recognized by the academic community. This work is thus helpful for future researchers, who wish to contribute to the research field with their publications. Secondly, this dissertation revises the first-ever conceptual typology of social entrepreneurs of Zahra et al. (2009) and applies it to a range of social ventures existing today, suggesting a typology based on empiric research. Results confirm that social ventures vary according to their institutional layout, societal scale and social value they produce and suggest that there is no one-fits-all solution for targeting social challenges as well as designing supportive systems for social ventures. Thirdly, this dissertation contributes to the stream of research on social impact measurement and empirically tests an output and outcome theorem. Fourth, it suggests an operationalization of a bi-dimensional orientation of social entrepreneurs, the so called intentionality, and adds to the discussion on differences of commercial and social entrepreneurship. Results suggest that the combination of a reliable business performance and a balance between social and economic goals of social entrepreneurs create higher social value. Moreover, working experience in a team and personal experience with the problem the venture addresses are important success factors for social value generation. Fifth, this doctoral thesis offers a flexible conceptual framework for social innovation based on the economic concepts of market failures and social surplus, which bridges some of the existing gaps between academic research and policy practices. Finally, from a methodological point of view, this dissertation contributes to further development of empirical research on social ventures and approaches of explorative data collection.

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