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This show opens a new path for sharing entrepreneurship scholars contributions to the Entrepreneurship & Regional Development International Journal.

Authors – E27 – Sandrine Stervinou & Julie Bayle-Cordier – Exploring the interplay between context and enterprise purpose in participative social entrepreneurship: the perceptions of worker cooperative entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship research views context as central to understanding entrepreneurship as a fluid social construction. Our study answers recent call to focus on a diversity of organizational forms to deepen theorizing and to broaden the domain of what is considered entrepreneurship. Worker cooperatives are a type of social enterprise under exposed in the entrepreneurship literature. Thus, we investigate how context impacts collective social entrepreneurial processes over time by exploring how worker cooperative entrepreneurs view their contexts and their own entrepreneurial initiatives’ purposes. We introduce the term ‘participative social entrepreneurship’, which we define as ‘democratic and collaborative action, amongst both similar and diverse actors to foster positive societal change’. Findings based on a longitudinal study of worker cooperative entrepreneurs from two European territories over 2011-2020 highlight the relevance of context and purpose interplay in shaping worker cooperative entrepreneurs’ perceptions and so, the construction of participative social entrepreneurship. The study reveals that while, in theory, the worker cooperative form has a prosocial purpose naturally embedded in its democratic governance structure, social entrepreneurship in action does not always translate into voices that contest the status quo and highlights the necessity of paying attention to the factors that make participative social entrepreneurship dynamic and real.

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