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Frontier Literature Review of Social Entrepreneurship Based on Knowledge Map

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DOI: 10.23977/iemss.2018.91407


Hewu Chen

Corresponding Author

Hewu Chen


Social entrepreneurship (SE) is the frontier areas of strategic management and entrepreneurial management research, which is still in its infancy. This paper uses Citespace software to do the knowledge map analysis in terms of time distribution, spatial distribution, periodical distribution and author distribution to all the SE research literatures, which are collected from 19 kinds of international top management and entrepreneurial academic journals in the Web of Science database. It also analyzes deeply the hot topics of in the field of SE. The study results show that SE research is increasing rapidly at present. The connotation and characteristics of SE and social entrepreneurs, process, influencing factors and performance evaluation are the three major hotspots of the SE research. Research in the future should focus on the ways in which social enterprises can gain competitive advantage from “outside” to “inside” from research perspective. Meanwhile, the research method should be changed from “narrow” to “broad” and we should pay more attention to the empirical research of multidisciplinary, cross-circumstance of multi-case and big data samples, which may promote empirical research deeply. What’s more, more emphasis should be placed on the uniqueness of SE and local context research, which contributes to the research content from “shallow” to “deep”.


Social Entrepreneurship (Se), Knowledge Map, Literature Review, Citespace

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