Agnieszka Brzozowska, University of Warsaw, Poland
Marzena Starnawska, Gdańsk University of Technology, Poland

Social entrepreneurship and social innovation as phenomena, have manifested themselves in many forms across a variety of cultural and institutional contexts all over the world. Research in social entrepreneurship combining both social and economic aims, has been subject to increased academic discourse during the last 25 years, but is still dominated by definitional debate. What’s more, it has been mainly associated with a positive phenomenon (Dey, 2006). This great variety and definitional challenge is also visible in social innovation fields of practice and research (Caulier-Grice et al. 2013). The field of practice has gone much further beyond theory. In the case of the latter there has been a limited contribution in universal or unified theory due to diversified institutional and historical trajectories, and associated social, cultural and economic differences in respective geographical settings (Starnawska, 2016). All of the above are manifested in the diversity of different social entrepreneurship and innovation models and organizations. Three main schools of thought on social entrepreneurship and social enterprise have emerged so far (Dees & Anderson, 2007): ‘social innovation’ , ‘earned income’ and EMES approach (Defourny & Nyssens, 2012). However, there is an inherent lack of an integrated conceptual framework, serving as a springboard for further field development.

Thus, we are interested to explain and predict social entrepreneurship and social innovation as phenomena, identify their antecedents and outcomes, but also look into the box of social entrepreneurship management processes.

The majority of existing research on social entrepreneurship is situated in a functionalist paradigm (Lehner & Kansikas 2013) therefore, we also invite both conceptual and empirical papers, and welcome research contributions employing quantitative, qualitative, mixed research methods, set not only in functionalist but also, interpretivist, and radical paradigms (Burrell & Morgan, 1979).

Potential authors, researchers, as well as practitioners, are invited to contribute to this issue of JEMI. We invite both research and conceptual papers that provide more insights and recent theoretical developments on the social entrepreneurship research agenda.

Proposed research topics include, among many others:

  • definitional debates across various cultures and contexts: social enterprise, social entrepreneurship, social innovation,
  • social entrepreneurship and social innovation models and organizations across cultures and contexts,
  • management and governance in social entrepreneurship organizations,
  • recognizing institutional and cultural antecedents for social entrepreneurship and social innovation,
  • impact and outcomes of social entrepreneurship and social innovation,
  • critical approaches - social entrepreneurship and social innovation as an idealized concept,
  • social entrepreneurship and social innovation research methodology.

Submission guidelines:

Submission deadline: 31st May, 2017
Papers reviewed: 30th June, 2017
Revised papers reviewed and accepted: 30th July, 2017
Final versions of accepted papers delivered: 30th August, 2017
Papers published: 30th September, 2017

Paper submission

Papers should be submitted before the end of 31st May, 2017 (the Call is closed) to JEMI via our Manuscript Center. They will undergo a double-blind review and must be in sufficient detail for the referees to judge their meaning and value. Submissions must be in English, should normally be no more than 15 pages in length (up to 8,000 words), and follow the submission requirements posted on the JEMI website at Notifications of acceptance or rejection will be sent to authors within less than two months.


  • Burrell, G., & Morgan, G. (1979). Sociological paradigms and Organizational Analysis. London: Heinemann.
  • Caulier-Grice, J., Davies, A., Patrick, R. & Norman, W. (2012). Defining Social Innovation. A deliverable of the project: “The theoretical, empirical and policy foundations for building social innovation in Europe” (TEPSIE), European Commission – 7th Framework Programme. Brussels: European Commission, DG Research.
  • Dees, J.G., & Anderson, B.B. (2006). Framing a theory of social entrepreneurship: building on two schools of practice and thought. ARNOVA Occasional Paper Series, 1(3), 39–66.
  • Defourny, J., & Nyssens, M. (2012). The EMES approach of social enterprise in a comparative perspective. Working Paper 12/03. EMES European Research Network.
  • Dey, P. (2006). The rhetoric of social entrepreneurship: paralogy and new language games in academic research. In: Ch. Steyaert & D. Hjorth (Eds.), Entrepreneurship as social change: A third movements in entrepreneurship book (pp. 121–142). Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar.
  • Lehner, O. M., & Kansikas, J. (2013). Pre-paradigmatic Status of Social Entrepreneurship Research: A Systematic Literature Review. Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, 4(2), 198-219.
  • Starnawska, M. (2016). Social entrepreneurship research– challenges, explanations and suggestions for the field development. Problemy Zarządzania, 14(3), 13-31.