This paper explores how social entrepreneurs use rhetoric to facilitate the pervasive adoption of new, socially focused, industry practices. Our conceptualization proposes that the nature of social entrepreneurs' rhetoric hinges on perceptions of their relationships to the industry members they seek to influence. We develop a framework that explains the effects of two cognitive structures - identity and power - on social entrepreneurs' perceptions of industry members and, in turn, the social entrepreneurs' rhetorical strategies for persuading the industry members to adopt new practices. Our framework specifies mechanisms through which social entrepreneurs facilitate systemic social change and, in doing so, informs theory at the intersection of social entrepreneurship, sustainable social change, and rhetoric.
- Social change
- Social cognition