Abstract

Societal attitudes are framework conditions of entrepreneurial ecosystems that help shape the incidence and character of entrepreneurial actions (Stam 2015). Because entrepreneurs with prosocial motivations aim to redress social problems using market mechanisms (Miller, Grimes, McMullen, & Vogus, 2012), societal attitudes about corporate social responsibility (CSR) are likely to shape entry decisions. In our study, we focus on two societal attitudes towards CSR. The first is how informed citizens feel about what companies do to behave responsibly towards society. The second is whether citizens believe that the overall influence of companies on society has been positive. We hypothesize that individuals in CSR informed countries are more likely to display a propensity for social entrepreneurial activity. We also hypothesize a bystander effect, whereby citizens believe so strongly that companies are already addressing societal problems that they do not start social ventures of their own.

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