Linking social entrepreneurship and innovation through the lens of the value co-creation process

  • Marco Pellicano
  • Orlando Troisi
  • Carmela Tuccillo
  • Massimiliano Vesci
Keywords: social entrepreneurship, innovation, social innovation, value co-creation, S-D logic and Network Theory


Purpose of the paper: In the new Era of sustainability, a sub-discipline within the field of entrepreneurship, called social entrepreneurship (SE), emerged as a global phenomenon in the academic literature (Johnson, 2000; Certo and Miller, 2008; Yeoh, 2012). This paper aims to offer a new perspective in this field of studies with an analysis of the links between SE and innovation adopting the lens of the value co-creation process.

Methodology: A brief literature review has been carried out to better understand how SE has developed over time. Hence, an examination of the synergies between SE and innovation has been carried out drawing from the Service-Dominant Logic (S-D) perspective (Vargo and Lusch, 2004, 2008a; Gummesson et al., 2010) and the Network Theory (Gummesson, 2007).

Findings: The development of a conceptual framework is useful to demonstrate that SE, innovation (I) and social innovation (SI) are positively related to each other and a combination of the two is necessary in the process of value co-creation.

Research limitations: This paper presents the typical limitations of the deductive approach based on literature review. For a deeper understanding of value co-creation management, a broader theoretical, as well as empirical, research is necessary.

Practical implications: Hence, the main practical implication of this paper is the identification of the missing link between SE and value co-creation within the mainstream entrepreneurship discourse.

Originality of the paper: The study could be considered a first step in a stream of research on different aspects of social entrepreneurship which are yet unexplored.


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