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Special Issue "Societal Level Antecedents of Social Entrepreneurship"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 695

Special Issue Editors

School of Business, MacEwan University, Edmonton, AB T5J 4S2, Canada
Interests: entrepreneurship; sustainability; emerging market multinationals; product recalls
Department of Management & Entrepreneurship, Williams College of Business, Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH 45212, USA
Interests: cross-cultural comparative entrepreneurship; sustainability; innovation; technology management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Social entrepreneurial behavior comprises recognition, evaluation, and the exploitation of opportunities to address societal concerns (Austin, Stevenson, and Wei-Skillern, 2006). Social entrepreneurship contributes to the globally recognized sustainable development goals, and therefore provides insights into socially accepted sustainable business practices (Seelos and Mair, 2005). It is a form of catalytic leadership that brings about change to address societal concerns (Newman-Storen, 2014; Weerawardena and Mort, 2006). The World Commission on Environment and Development, the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED), and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development stress the role of such leadership in developing and implementing agendas for sustainability, that in turn maximize the goals of sustainable development of society. Extant research has examined the role of societal institutions on entrepreneurial behaviors, especially commercial entrepreneurship (Autio, Pathak, and Wennberg, 2013; Muralidharan and Pathak, 2017; Stephan and Pathak, 2016). However, the influence of external context on social entrepreneurship is an under-researched area (Estrin, Mickiewicz, Stephan, 2013), and in particular, the influence of societal level formal and informal institutions (Muralidharan and Pathak 2018; Pathak and Muralidharan, 2016; Pathak and Muralidharan, 2018; Stephan, Uhlaner, and Stride, 2014).  The purpose of this Special Issue is to examine the influence of context, i.e. the role of societal informal and formal institutions (although not limited to) and their interplay in driving social entrepreneurial behavior that would help address the goals of the sustainable development of society. We are seeking conceptual and empirical contributions (in a single cultural context or a cross-cultural context) that address the above and related topics. Some typical examples (although not limited to) of societal antecedents and related topics that drive social entrepreneurial behaviors would be as follows, although, again, the scope is not limited to these:

  • Influence of cultural values, norms and their interplay.
  • Influence of formal institutions such as regulatory institutions.
  • Societal level leadership traits and the conditions under which they drive social entrepreneurial behavior.
  • Mechanisms through which these societal level institutions drive social entrepreneurial behavior.
  • Conditions under which the above formal and informal institutions drive social entrepreneurial behavior.
  • Relationship between social entrepreneurship and the sustainable development of societies.
  • Social entrepreneurial behaviors that drive sustainable development practices in society.

Austin, J., Stevenson, H., & Wei‐Skillern, J. (2006). Social and commercial entrepreneurship: same, different, or both? Entrepreneurship theory and practice30(1): 1-22.

Autio, E., Pathak, S., & Wennberg, K. (2013). Consequences of cultural practices for entrepreneurial behaviors. Journal of International Business Studies, 44, 4: 334-362.

Estrin, S., Mickiewicz, T., & Stephan, U. (2013). Entrepreneurship, social capital, and institutions: Social and commercial entrepreneurship across nations. Entrepreneurship theory and practice37(3), 479-504.

Muralidharan, E., & Pathak, S. (2017). Informal institutions and international entrepreneurship. International Business Review26, 2: 288-302

Muralidharan, E., & Pathak, S. (2018). Sustainability, transformational leadership, and social entrepreneurship. Sustainability10(2): 567.

Newman-Storen, R. (2014). Leadership in sustainability: creating an interface between creativity and leadership theory in dealing with “Wicked Problems”. Sustainability6(9): 5955-5967.

Pathak, S., & Muralidharan, E. (2016). Informal institutions and their comparative influences on social and commercial entrepreneurship: The role of in‐group collectivism and interpersonal Trust. Journal of Small Business Management54: 168-188.

Pathak, S., & Muralidharan, E. (2018). Economic inequality and social entrepreneurship. Business & Society57,6: 1150-1190.

Seelos, C., & Mair, J. (2005). Sustainable development, sustainable profit. European Business Forum, 20, 49-53.

Stephan, U., & Pathak, S. (2016). Beyond cultural values? Cultural leadership ideals and entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Venturing31, 5: 505-523.

Stephan, U., Uhlaner, L. M., & Stride, C. (2015). Institutions and social entrepreneurship: The role of institutional voids, institutional support, and institutional configurations. Journal of International Business Studies46(3): 308-331.

Weerawardena, J., & Mort, G. S. (2006). Investigating social entrepreneurship: A multidimensional model. Journal of world business41(1): 21-35.

Dr. Etayankara Muralidharan
Dr. Saurav Pathak
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • social entrepreneurship
  • sustainability
  • sustainable development
  • formal institutions
  • informal institutions
  • culture
  • cultural values and practices
  • regulatory institutions
  • cross-cultural research
  • leadership

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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