PurposeScholars researching entrepreneurship argue that the distinct characteristics of social entrepreneurs, together with the particular category of opportunities they pursue, invite us to further understand social entrepreneurship (SE) as a distinct field of investigation. The purpose of this paper is to investigate opportunity recognition behaviour of social entrepreneurs and closely related unique attributes of empathy, moral judgement (MRJ) and self-efficacy, in an emerging market African context.Design/methodology/approachA survey was administered to social entrepreneurs across two of the largest provinces in South Africa, namely Cape Town and Gauteng. Hypotheses were statistically tested using correlational analysis and hierarchical regression with mediation effects.FindingsResults reveal that social entrepreneurial self-efficacy (ESE) plays a significant mediating effect in the relationship between MRJ and social opportunity recognition. Moreover, perceived MRJ and social ESE act as important determinants of increased social opportunity recognition.Originality/valueThis study has brought to attention the relevance of opportunity recognition to social entrepreneurs, while recognising their distinctive features in terms of empathy and MRJ. While self-efficacy and opportunity recognition are relatively well established in the traditional entrepreneurship literature, this study extends the reach of these variables into the SE domain.
International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 13, 2019
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