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Insights from a systematic review of literature on social enterprise and networks: Where, how and what next?

Littlewood, David, Khan, Zaheer (2018) Insights from a systematic review of literature on social enterprise and networks: Where, how and what next? Social Enterprise Journal, 14 (4). pp. 390-409. ISSN 1750-8614. (doi:10.1108/SEJ-11-2018-068) (KAR id:69163)

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Purpose: This paper aims to contribute to better understanding of where and how network

concepts, theories and perspectives, organisational networks, and networking practices, are being

studied and deployed in social enterprise research. We do this through a systematic review of

social enterprise and networks literature in business and management journals. We identify key

trends and developments in this literature, and identify gaps and limitations, culminating in

discussion of what next for social enterprise and networks research. We also introduce the papers

in this special issue on “Social Enterprise and Networks”.

Methodology: A systematic review was undertaken of social enterprise and networks literature

in business and management journals. Journals sampled included all those in the

Entrepreneurship and Small Business subject area of the Association of Business Schools (ABS)

Academic Journal Guide 2018, the journals in the Financial Times 50 research ranking, and

selected wider business and society, non-profit management and public administration journals.

Findings: Analysis of publishing patterns of social enterprise and networks research finds that

such research is growing, and that varied network perspectives, concepts and theories are being

deployed. Social enterprise and networks are also being studied globally, using different

methodologies. Nevertheless, there remains scope for deeper theoretical engagement, and for a

wider range of network theories to be utilised. More even geographic coverage is also needed,

and further insights can be gained through use of alternative methodologies.

Research Implications: Discussions in this paper have implications for research through

outlining systematically the state of current scholarship on social enterprise and networks. In so

doing, we provide insight on what we know about social enterprise and networks. But also what

we don’t know and where further enquiry is needed. Direction is thus provided for future social

enterprise and networks scholarship.

Practical Implications: In this paper we consider how, and the extent to which, social enterprise

and networks scholarship offers implications for practice and policy.

Value: This paper makes a valuable contribution to social enterprise scholarship. It outlines the

state of current knowledge and research on social enterprise and networks, identifying where and

how relationships between social enterprise and networks have been studied, whilst also

providing insights for what next in future social enterprise and networks research.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1108/SEJ-11-2018-068
Uncontrolled keywords: Social Enterprise; Social Entrepreneurship; Social Entrepreneur; Social Innovation; Networks; Social Capital; Embeddedness; Actor-Network Theory
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and International Business
Depositing User: Zaheer Khan
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2018 14:14 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 05:15 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Khan, Zaheer:
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