Solving social and ecological challenges by starting a business? How social entrepreneurial teams create new solutions

Presenting person: Prof. Dr. Eva Jakob, Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship, UBT (Homepage)
Th. 2022-01-20 (12:15-13:45), online-only

Social entrepreneurship means using entrepreneurial methods to develop innovative solutions for our greatest social and ecological challenges (e.g., Ecosia, the search platform that plants trees). The innovative solutions are mostly implemented in teams. From entrepreneurship research, we know that teams' composition is crucial to ventures' outcomes. Interestingly, we still have scant knowledge about social entrepreneurial teams, although their outcomes in terms of social and environmental impacts are important. Drawing on the theory of paradox, we suggest that social, in contrast to commercial entrepreneurial teams, improve their venture's business model quality when combining founding team members with opposing individual values (i.e., self-enhancement and self-transcendence values). Conversely, we propose that a combination of opposing individual values inhibits the business model quality of commercial entrepreneurial teams. Surprisingly, using moderated and polynomial regression analyses on 98 entrepreneurial teams, we find that for social entrepreneurial teams, a combination of either high self-transcendence and low self-enhancement, or high self-enhancement and low self-transcendence individual team members’ values is beneficial to their business model quality.

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