UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


Transformative Entrepreneurship and Prosperity: Core Concepts

Availability & prerequisites

There are no specific pre-requisites.

Module Content

This module introduces core concepts, frameworks and theories of transformative entrepreneurship. As part of this module, you will: consider the core ideas of ‘prosperity thinking’ in relation to contemporary responses to socioeconomic and environmental crises (such as green growth, degrowth, sustainable development goals); learn about the emergence and forms of social entrepreneurship; understand entrepreneurship as an institution, intervention, policy and practice; study concepts and theories relevant for analysing the transformative potential of entrepreneurship (such as community-based enterprise, effectuation, frugal innovation, institutional theory, social movements); explore the promise and limits of transformative entrepreneurship to provoke institutional and structural change in different settings, including extreme and diverse global contexts (e.g. displacement, migration, poverty, violence); and finally, how to evaluate the potential of transformative entrepreneurship to both advance more equitable, inclusive societies and address global challenges. The learning process includes a range of online materials, classes, teaching cases, as well as individual and group research work.

Illustrative Module Outline

  1. Introduction: Concepts, definitions, emergence, forms
  2. Why transformative entrepreneurship? Global challenges and prosperity
  3. Entrepreneurship: Institution, intervention, policy or practice?
  4. Entrepreneurship: Innovation and transformative change
  5. Social entrepreneurs: Metaphors and motivations
  6. Social innovation and measuring social impact
  7. Transformative enterprise: Inclusivity, poverty and prosperity
  8. Extreme contexts and the limits of transformative enterprise

Indicative Reading

•Abdelnour, S., Hasselbladh, H., & Kallinikos, J. (2017). Agency and Institutions in Organization Studies. Organization Studies, 38(12), 1775–1792.

•Akemu, O., Whiteman, G. & Kennedy, S. (2016). Social enterprise emergence from social movement activism: The Fairphone Case. Journal of Management Studies 53(1): 89-124.

•Brandl, J., & Bullinger, B. (2009). Reflections on Societal Conditions for the Pervasiveness of Entrepreneurial Behavior in Western Societies. Journal of Management Inquiry, 18(2), 159-173.

•Calás, M.B., Smircich, L. & Bourne, K.A. (2009). Extending the Boundaries: Reframing “Entrepreneurship as Social Change” Through Feminist Perspectives. Academy of Management Review, 34, 552–569.

•Estrin, S., Mickiewicz, T. and Stephan, U. (2013), Entrepreneurship, Social Capital, and Institutions: Social and Commercial Entrepreneurship Across Nations. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 37: 479–504.

•Jiménez, A. (2019) Inclusive innovation from the lenses of situated agency: insights from innovation hubs in the UK and Zambia, Innovation and Development, 9:1, 41-64.

•Khoury, T. A., & Prasad, A. (2016). Entrepreneurship amid concurrent institutional constraints in less developed countries. Business and Society, 55(7), 934–969.

•Mair J., Martí I., Ventresca M. (2012). Building inclusive markets in rural Bangladesh: How intermediaries work institutional voids. Academy of Management Journal, 55, 819-850.

•Peredo, A.M. & Chrisman, J.J. (2006). Toward a theory of community-based enterprise. Academy of Management Review, 31(2), 309–328.

•Sarasvathy, S. (2001). Causation and Effectuation: Toward a Theoretical Shift from Economic Inevitability to Entrepreneurial Contingency. The Academy of Management Review, 26(2), 243-263