Title: The reluctant social entrepreneur: shaving entrepreneurship theories when they are square pegs for round holes

Authors: Mark Simon; John O'Sullivan; Alice Stewart

Addresses: School of Management, University of Michigan-Flint, 2200 Riverfront Center, 303 East Kearsley Street, Flint, MI 48502-1950, USA ' The Cooperative Extension Program, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC 27411, USA ' 331 Merrick Hall, Department of Management, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC 27411, USA

Abstract: Research on social entrepreneurship has grown rapidly over the past decade. Despite this growth, the literature does not provide insight for the person who could gain by pursuing social entrepreneurship initiatives, but who has no desire to pursue a social mission. This paper explores this issue using the case of the struggling rural North Carolina tobacco farmers who could gain greatly by changing crops to organic wheat, but are reluctant to do so. We believe that the existence of disciplinary silos generates the major obstacle to generating and applying relevant entrepreneurship knowledge to the plight of rural tobacco farmers, and to other groups facing similar situations. The paper argues that applying entrepreneurship literature relating to risk perception and entrepreneurial ecosystems may provide insights. It further contends that the definition of social entrepreneurship may need to be expanded if it is to include the 'reluctant social entrepreneur'.

Keywords: social entrepreneurship; tobacco farmers; entrepreneurship literature; risk perceptions; entrepreneurial ecosystems; reluctant social entrepreneurs; organic wheat; entrepreneurship theories; crop changes; USA; United States; disciplinary silos; rural farming.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSEI.2016.082295

International Journal of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 2016 Vol.4 No.3, pp.257 - 271

Available online: 14 Feb 2017 *

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