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Opportunity formation in social entrepreneurship

  • Steffen Korsgaard
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    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of opportunity and its role in social entrepreneurship processes. Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents a single-case study of a sustainable community in Denmark. The data include interviews, documents and television programmes. Findings – The case study finds that the opportunity takes a number of different forms in the process. These different forms are the result of a continuous mobilisation of actors. On the basis of these findings a model of social entrepreneurship processes is proposed, where the process is driven by mobilisation and transformation. Research limitations/implications – The findings of the case provide support for a creation view of opportunities and the view that opportunity discovery does not necessarily precede resource mobilisation. The proposed model contributes to the development of the creation view of opportunities as an alternative to the discovery view and to understanding of the role of opportunities in the social entrepreneurship process. Practical implications – The findings suggest that the social entrepreneur is one who actively creates external circumstances rather than responds to opportunities already present therein. This implies a focus on different skills and ways of thinking. Originality/value – The paper presents a model of social entrepreneurship processes grounded in a deep understanding of an empirical setting. The findings and model question the value of the discovery view of opportunities in the field of social entrepreneurship, while contributing to the development of the creation view of opportunities.

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    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy.

    Volume (Year): 5 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 (September)
    Pages: 265-285

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:jecpps:v:4:y:2010:i:2:p:265-285
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    1. Denise E. Fletcher, 2006. "Entrepreneurial processes and the social construction of opportunity," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(5), pages 421-440, September.
    2. Saras Sarasvathy & Nicholas Dew, 2005. "New market creation through transformation," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 15(5), pages 533-565, November.
    3. Silvia Dorado, 2006. "Social Entrepreneurial Ventures: Different Values So Different Process Of Creation, No?," Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship (JDE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 11(04), pages 319-343.
    4. Henrik Berglund, 2007. "Opportunities As Existing And Created: A Study Of Entrepreneurs In The Swedish Mobile Internet Industry," Journal of Enterprising Culture (JEC), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 15(03), pages 243-273.
    5. Roger Spear, 2006. "Social entrepreneurship: a different model?," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 33(5/6), pages 339-410, May.
    6. Mair, Johanna & Martí, Ignasi, 2006. "Social entrepreneurship research: A source of explanation, prediction, and delight," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 36-44, February.
    7. Johan Gaddefors, 2005. "Creating Context – Entrepreneurial Opportunities In A Consumer Market Setting," Journal of Enterprising Culture (JEC), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 13(03), pages 199-224.
    8. M. Ruth & K. Donaghy & P. Kirshen, 2006. "Introduction," Chapters, in: Regional Climate Change and Variability, chapter 1 Edward Elgar.
    9. Baker, Ted, 2007. "Resources in play: Bricolage in the Toy Store(y)," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 694-711, September.
    10. Jeffery S. McMullen & Lawrence A. Plummer & Zoltan J. Acs, 2007. "What is an Entrepreneurial Opportunity?," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2007-10, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
    11. Garud, Raghu & Karnoe, Peter, 2003. "Bricolage versus breakthrough: distributed and embedded agency in technology entrepreneurship," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 277-300, February.
    12. Israel M. Kirzner, 1997. "Entrepreneurial Discovery and the Competitive Market Process: An Austrian Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 60-85, March.
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