Understanding the Social Role of Entrepreneurship

Shaker A. Zahra, Mike Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

217 Scopus citations


There is a need to rethink and redefine the social value added of entrepreneurial activities to society. In this paper we develop five pillars on which the evolving social role of entrepreneurship can rest and have its impact: (1) connecting entrepreneurial activities to other societal efforts aimed at improving the quality of life, achieving progress, and enriching human existence, (2) identifying ways to reduce the dysfunctional effects of entrepreneurial activities on stakeholders, (3) redefining the scope of entrepreneurial activities as a scholarly arena, (4) recognizing entrepreneurship's social multiplier, and (5) pursuing blended value at the organizational level, centring on balancing the creation of financial, social and environmental wealth. In a final section we discuss implications for practices and for further research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)610-629
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for the Advancement of Management Studies.


  • Blended value
  • Hybrid organizations
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Sustainability


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