Where do you look for social enterprise research, analysis and insights? If you’re anything like me, you look at the publications of major foundations, the reports of major social enterprise or social finance intermediaries, government publications, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review.
Like me, (embarrassingly), you might not have realized that there are active social enterprise journals -- places where actual peer-reviewed social enterprise research and analysis lives.
A couple of months ago, while scouring the Stanford Social Innovation Review, I saw the brief mention of a few active social enterprise journals. Intrigued, I did some googling.
Here’s what I found...
The Journal of Social Entrepreneurship (Taylor and Francis)
Focus: The focus of the Taylor and Francis' Journal of Social Entrepreneurship is on expanding the discourse on social enterprise, moving away from the “what can social entrepreneurship learn from business perspectives?” of business school publications, toward a more inclusive dialogue. According to the publishers, that more inclusive dialogue includes discussion of social enterprise in relation to fields such as not-for-profit management, anthropology, social geography, development economics, ethics, moral philosophy, and more.
Top-Read Posts: The Journal was established in 2010, and includes interesting-looking reports such as the top-read Playing with Numbers: A Methodological Critique of the Social Enterprise Growth Myth and Understanding Value Creation in Social Entrepreneurship: The Importance of Aligning Mission, Strategy and Impact Measurement.
Downsides: There are a couple of major drawbacks to this publication that seem worth noting, however. Firstly, there’s a disappointing lack of gender diversity amongst the editorial board. Of the 24 individuals listed as having editorial control, just five are women (and one of whom, is the late Pamela Hartigan). In addition, the publication doesn’t appear to be all that widely read, at least online. The top-read article on the publication’s website lists just 3592 views. (As a ballpark stat, it’s now estimated that the UK alone boasts over 70,000 social enterprises). I’d be curious to know what their print readership looks like...
Frequency and Cost: Published three times per year, the journal can be accessed from a variety of databases, including EBSCO and SCOPUS, or journals can be rented and purchased from the site. (Access to an individual article for 24-hours will set you back €33 and 30-day access to an issue of the journal will set you back €115).
Social Enterprise Journal (Emerald)
Focus: Established in 2005, the Social Enterprise Journal is the veteran of the two publications, and focusses perhaps less on the intersection between social enterprise and other related disciplines, and nerds out’ harder on things like: the ‘theorization of the nature of social enterprise’, 'hybridity and conflicting logics', social enterprise incubation and acceleration and, the development of social enterprise as a field of study.
Top-Read Articles: Top-read articles of the last year include: Motivations of Social Entrepreneurs: Blurring the social contribution and profits dichotomy, and Re-Imagining Social Enterprise.
Downsides: Of note, the Social Enterprise Journal does better than its competitor on both the gender and geographic diversity of its editorial board. Of the 43 listed editorial board members, 15 are women, and members of the editorial board include folks from Asia and South America, in addition to Europe, North America and Australia. Readership of the journal seems for the most part, on par with the Journal of Social Enterprise, if perhaps a little lower.
Frequency and Cost: This journal too is published three times per year, can be accessed via a number of academic databases, and can be purchased both online and in print (and prices look to be a bit more manageable than those of its competitor).
Will you read them?
So they exist...
The big question now, is whether you (and I) will take the opportunity to read them...
N.B: Just before publishing this post, I noticed a third journal, the International Journal of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation. If you’re curious about it, have a look, and leave a comment below to let me know what it’s all about!