Social Entrepreneurship Orientation & Social Networks: Moderating Role of Collectivism.

Date01 April 2021
AuthorMathew, Jaya

Introduction

Schumpeter (1934) defined entrepreneurs as individuals whose function was to carry out new combinations of means of production. For a social entrepreneur, the main objective is addressing a local issue, with limited resources at hand. His entrepreneurial venture will help increasing the livelihood of local people and reduce social inequities by employing marginalized people. Identifying social entrepreneurial intention among the youth in the society has become the need of the hour. This would also ensure that government is able to achieve its targets of better standards of lives for all its citizens by having more job creators rather than job seekers.

Social Entrepreneurship Needed?

Social entrepreneurship is essential to generate employment for dropouts, unskilled or semi-skilled youths who could not get proper education due to various compulsions. So, these social enterprises can serve their part in acting as a catalyst in gainfully employing youngsters and reducing inequity.

Besides this, many educated youngsters aspire to establish their own enterprise rather than joining the corporate rat race and make some change in the surroundings of people they live with. Being social entrepreneurs they intend to effect a positive change in society which they may have observed like social inequality, poverty or inj ustice and want to make an effort to alleviate the same. And for such individuals, social enterprises are perfect avenues to transmute their dreams into reality.

Need & Significance of the Study

Given the bleak employment scenario the government intends to develop more job creators than job seekers. In an effort to sow the seeds of entrepreneurship during the formative years such initiatives have been taken by the government as catching them young. Such interventions can create a huge impact on future generations' thinking about method of becoming independent thus contributing to the economic growth and societal improvement. In the same light the government has promoted the introduction of entrepreneurial courses at PG and UG level for current students. And also created incubation centers linked to reputed colleges in an effort to increase job creators. Hence to study the impact of these courses on the youth it is necessary to measure it.

Theoretical Rationale

The social entrepreneurial behavior explained by Mair and Noboa's (2003; 2006) model which builds upon Krueger (1993). The model states that social entrepreneurs differ from the ordinary businessman in abilities like risk-taking, autonomy and tolerance for ambiguity and have empathy, moral obligation and support of social networks to succeed. Further the basic tenets on which the social entrepreneurship intention depends are on aspects like perceived desirability and perceived feasibility and propensity to act. The perceived desirability depends on empathy and societal moral judgment and is infused with traits like creativity, proactivity and entrepreneurial intention.

Empathy is the main attitude of a social entrepreneur which is directed towards a specific set of people who are oppressed in society. Their plight creates a response of altruistic motivation to reduce their sufferings. Empathy is a value which initiates the change process and which can be taught in schools (Caselman, 2007). Societal moral judgment is the second antecedent of perceived desirability as per the Mair model (2006) measuring the extent to which individuals feel that society is morally obliged to address the problems of oppressed people as a result of perceived moral norms. Perceived feasibility consists of self-efficacy and social support. It is related to expectancy (Steel & Konig, 2006) which suggest certain outcome after a certain behavior.

Self-efficacy is the individual's perceptions of one's ability to carry out an intended action (Bandura, 1977). As per Mair and Noboa (2006) high self-efficacy allows a person to make success of a social enterprise which helps develop corresponding behavioral intention. Social support is an important aspect of social entrepreneurship. The person looks forward to get support from their personal network of family, friends, acquaintances for providing goods and services, especially during the initial stages as they experience resource crunch and require generous donation from such networks. The degree to which individual believes he has access to support will again determine the perceived feasibility for launching a social enterprise (Koe Hwee Nga & Shamuganathan, 2010).

Ajzen (1991) in the theory of planned behavior has inferred that belief influences attitude. Firstly, the belief is formed which later on manifests as intention. Beliefs are sentiments or passion towards a social issue which controls individual behavior and motivate them towards what has become the center of their attention (e.g. a social issue) and also guide their long -term actions. But the formation of social sentiments does not mean the person will start a social venture. He may also work for different trades like medicine, join religious organizations etc. (Wry, T. & York, J. G., 2017).

The perceived desirability is affected by expected outcomes of starting a business which initiates the action. The propensity of this act is influenced by the will power. As per (Ghosal & Bruch, 2003) will power is the deep personal attachment towards an intention. It pushes people to wade through difficulties and eventually succeed. The motivation of social entrepreneurs is context-specific. They want to impact society as they are unhappy with the status quo (Prabhu, 1999). Opportunities for impacting lives can be searched based on prior experience or discovered in a given context. Krueger (2000) argued that it can be created as well.

Once a person develops a social sentiment which predisposes him to social issues, he is always on the lookout for an opportunity to establish a social venture. The opportunity will be considered attractive if there is sufficient potential for social impact to justify the effort, time and money required to pursue it (Guclu, Dees et al, 2002). And hence the social entrepreneurial behavior will be aroused.

All individuals are part of a collectivist society. Collectivist culture always gives more importance to relationships, roles, expected values. The decision made by a person is largely affected by the culture in which he is living (Hofstede, 2001). Parkes (2001) concludes that the type of culture a person follows impacts the organizational culture also.

There are three forms of collectivism as per Allik & Realo (1996) & Realo (1997), family-related where the person places more importance on the interest of the family at the same time subjugating personal interests, taking care of parents, respecting elders etc. Next is peer collectivism where a person has close bonds with colleagues, friends, neighbors. Third is society related collectivism where the person is willing to give up life for societal needs etc.

India has a collectivist culture (Hofstede et al, 1991) where a person is expected to follow norms, meet expectations of family, relatives etc. And such a culture also grows the seeds of social entrepreneurship where a person feels he also needs to give back to society. Since he has got so much from the society in...

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