Abstract

Social innovation is a subject of growing interest to policy makers and private initiatives alike, yet this phenomenon remains largely unexplored by the scholarly community. As such, developing a conceptual framework and unpacking the determinants of social innovation is a goal of considerable importance. Extant research has shown that entrepreneurs are important agents in the process of innovation; can a parallel relationship exist whereby social entrepreneurs drive social innovation? In this study, we develop a conceptual framework for social innovation lending itself to empirical operationalization. To do so, we define social innovation as new ways of combining existing resources more efficiently in order to improve the local quality of life. We also test a series of hypotheses predicting the impact of both social and commercial entrepreneurship on social innovation, as well as the moderating effect of a region’s relative wealth.

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