In Research


Year: 2020
Published in: Journal of Business Research
Cited as: Gupta, P., S. Chauhan, J. Paul and M. P. Jaiswal (2020). “Social entrepreneurship research: A review and future research agenda.” Journal of Business Research 113: 209-229.


Social Entrepreneurship (SE) is a popular area of research and practice. An analysis of the existing literature reviews on SE reveals a dearth of studies classifying the existing SE literature into multiple research themes and further presenting popular and less popular research themes. With the aim of bridging this gap, this study presents a systematic review of 188 peer reviewed SSCI journal articles published in last decade. It presents an overview of recent SE research, classifying it in five main themes while identifying the thrust areas of research in each. Based on identified research gaps, we provide future research directions, contexts and methodology


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Recommendations from this resource

Future Research

1. Future studies should focus on the motivational drivers and organisational learning of social entrepreneurs, exploring, for example, the issues related to employee maintenance and retention, performance appraisal, training and development of human resources in SE, and the role of theparticipative HRM and diversity climate in reducing relational conflicts in SEs.

2. Engagement of SEs in prominent social problems relating to gender difference, gender dicrimination, women and children rights and safety and women’s empowerment.

3. Adding additional parameters, such as the business models used, marketing strategies, and entrepreneurial challenges that have been largely missing in the existing articles.

4. Another useful research objective can be to study the alignment of social and financial objectives of SE, and their efforts and strategies to achieve this end.

5. Hybridity in SE business models, research in this dimension of SE has not yet achieved its full potential.

6. More comparative studies on social enterprise within a given industry from developed and developing countries.

7. Studies exploring the process and challenges of SE in different industries would be very insightful. It may also be useful to study SE business models and strategies in specific industry and country settings, or a homogenous set of the two.

8. Researchers should use mixed methods that involve both qualitative and quantitative approaches, because quantitative methods help to improve the validity of a study.

Policy Makers

1. Policymakers must develop a holistic institutional and regulatory environment for SEs to smooth the process of social innovation to achieve sustainable and relevant outcomes for society and organisations.