A Rhetoric-Orientation View of Social Entrepreneurship

Forthcoming in Social Enterprise Journal

58 Pages Posted: 9 May 2016 Last revised: 7 Sep 2016

See all articles by Yanto Chandra

Yanto Chandra

City University of Hong Kong; The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Date Written: May 9, 2016


This study extends our understanding of the ways in which social entrepreneurs give sense to and legitimize their work by introducing a rhetoric-orientation view (ROV) of social entrepreneurship (SE). It uses computer-aided text analysis and computational linguistics to study 191 interviews of social and business entrepreneurs. It offers validation and exploration of new concepts pertaining to the rhetoric orientations of SE. This study confirms prior untested assumptions that the rhetoric of social entrepreneurs is more other, stakeholder engagement, and justification oriented and less self-oriented than the rhetoric of business entrepreneurs. It also confirms that the rhetoric of both types of entrepreneurs is equally economically oriented. This research makes new contribution to the SE literature by 1) introducing three new orientations, solution, impact, and geographical, that reflect distinctive rhetorical themes used by social entrepreneurs, and 2) revealing that social entrepreneurs use terms associated with other, stakeholder engagement, justification, economic, solution, impact, and geographical orientations differently than business entrepreneurs.

Keywords: Social Entrepreneur, Rhetoric, Social Change, Orientation

Suggested Citation

Chandra, Yanto, A Rhetoric-Orientation View of Social Entrepreneurship (May 9, 2016). Forthcoming in Social Enterprise Journal. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2777453 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2777453

Yanto Chandra (Contact Author)

City University of Hong Kong ( email )

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