How Social Entrepreneurs Facilitate the Adoption of New Industry Practices

Theodore L. Waldron, Greg Fisher, Michael Pfarrer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-845
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Entrepreneurship
  • Rhetoric
  • Social change
  • Social cognition
  • Sustainability

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