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Social entrepreneurship and social innovation: A bibliometric review and research agenda

Sottini, A., Zupic, I. & Giudici, A. ORCID: 0000-0001-6033-1643 (2024). Social entrepreneurship and social innovation: A bibliometric review and research agenda. European Management Journal, doi: 10.1016/j.emj.2024.03.006


Despite the increasing focus on scientific maturity in social entrepreneurship (SE) and social innovation (SI), scholars still place a greater focus on defining theoretical boundaries than on the commonalities and complementarities between these phenomena. We address this gap by investigating when, how, and to what extent SE and SI are interrelated via a bibliometric analysis of the intersection of the SE and SI theoretical domains that combines cocitation analysis, historiography, and bibliographic coupling. Building on these results, we advance the theoretical debate by introducing a novel framework, documenting that while the SI process can occur beyond social enterprises' boundaries, SE can contribute to creating, enabling, and scaling SI solutions. Moreover, we document historical convergence in a new trend accompanying the increase in SI research under the SE umbrella. This leads to a research agenda that can prompt the crosspollination of these theories, fostering a novel theoretical construct through this combination.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2024. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Publisher Keywords: social entrepreneurship; social innovation; bibliometric analysis; cocitation analysis; algorithmic historiography; bibliographic coupling
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Departments: Bayes Business School
Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of EMJ accepted.pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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