A theoretical and methodological approach to social entrepreneurship as world-making and emancipation

Authors Nicolien Montesano Montessori
Published in Entrepreneurship & Regional Development
Publication date 2016
Research groups Normative Professionalisation
Type Article


This article presents and analyses three cases, which integrate features of both social movements and social entrepreneurship (SE). It is the result of a longitudinal study (January 2012 to September 2015). The study contributes new insights to the theoretical and methodological discussions on SE, focusing on ‘the social’ in SE literature. The three selected movements, active in the Netherlands, are: ‘The Dutch Chapter of Zeitgeist’ henceforth Zeitgeist (TZM), (2010–present), ‘Giving is All we Have’ (henceforth GIAWH, (2011–2014) and ‘MasterPeace’ (MP) (2010–present). Each movement shows a strong inclination towards social transformation, while being rooted in organizational structures, therefore considered ‘social entrepreneurial movements’. Specific contributions entail: the presentation of these innovative cases, the design of a methodology based on critical discourse analysis, state theory, narrative analysis, political theory and discourse theory and a thorough analysis and interpretation of these cases in the national and global contexts in which they emerged. More specifically, it contributes to SE literature on emancipation, defined as ‘breaking free’ when further developing the method in the direction of world-making, defined as ‘creating new worlds’. This study suggests that transition theory can be useful for the study of the impact of social entrepreneurial movements.

On this publication contributed

Language English
Published in Entrepreneurship & Regional Development
Year and volume 28 7-8
Key words social entrepreneurship, emancipation, world-making, ontology, worldviews, narratives, narrative analysis, discourse theory, critical discourse analysis, paradigm shift
Page range 536-562

Nicolien Montesano Montessori

Nicolien Montesano Montessori | Associate professor | Normative Professionalisation

Nicolien Montesano Montessori

  • Researcher
  • Research group: Communication in Digital Transition