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Mapping the emergence of a new research field: an exploration of the intellectual structure of the B Corp research


  • Silvia Blasi

    () (Department of Economics and Management, University of Padova)

  • Silvia Rita Sedita

    () (Department of Economics and Management, University of Padova)


The paper explores the emergence of a new research field, implementing a bibliometric analysis of the literature on the B Corp. We built a database including 82 articles collected by Scopus and published from 2009 to 2019 that discuss the B Corp, or the benefit corporation, or, more generally, social entrepreneurship. We performed descriptive and citation analyses, with the objective of identifying the roots and the evolution of the concept of B Corp. This emergent field is an important component of the structural change occurring in our society, which, in recent years, has seen the emergence of new for-profit organizational forms with a strong social consciousness. The bibliometric analysis reveals the foundational works and the historical evolution of the research field, which, while rooted in the corporate social responsibility literature, opened up into the analysis of how the legislation, the firm’s strategy, the entrepreneurial orientation, and the policy interventions are intertwined in the concrete development of socially and environmentally conscious businesses.

Suggested Citation

  • Silvia Blasi & Silvia Rita Sedita, 2019. "Mapping the emergence of a new research field: an exploration of the intellectual structure of the B Corp research," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0236, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  • Handle: RePEc:pad:wpaper:0236

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    More about this item


    B Corp; benefit corporation; social entrepreneurship; sustainability; bibliometric analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • M10 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - General
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship

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