The Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2014: "Toward a Meta-Linguistic Model of Social Entrepreneurship: Insights from Computational Linguistics"

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary WorksRGC 32 - Refereed conference paper (with host publication)peer-review

View graph of relations



Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of The Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2014
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


By integrating language into entrepreneurship research, I theorize that language is a conduit of entrepreneurial actions, thoughts and feelings and I provide an integrated framework of social entrepreneurship that is mediated and unified by language. Using a large data set encompassing almost 570,000 words from social and commercial entrepreneurs’ (N = 191) interviews in online media and computational linguistic analyses, I find linguistic differences between social and commercial entrepreneurs in terms of their world view (e.g. self versus others orientation), extent of stakeholder relations and processes, justification and rationalization for their ventures, psychological stress encountered in their entrepreneurial ventures, and tendency to rely on integrative thinking style. The two types of entrepreneurs do not differ significantly in terms of their language of collective identity and agency and concern about financial and social performance. The empirical findings suggest that language and human communication processes are central mechanisms in entrepreneurial actions and processes, an insight that mainstream research in social entrepreneurship has overlooked. I conclude by discussing the framework’s contribution to and implications for social entrepreneurship literature and entrepreneurship literature.

Citation Format(s)