Social Entrepreneurs as the Paragons of Shared Value Creation? A Critical Perspective

31 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2011 Last revised: 2 Nov 2013

See all articles by Michael Pirson

Michael Pirson

Fordham University - Gabelli School of Business; Humanistic Management Network; Harvard University

Date Written: February 2, 2011


The financial crisis of 2007/08 has caused many to question the basic premises of the current business system (Kaletsky, 2010). Porter and Kramer (2011) suggest that the purpose of the corporation needs to be redefined. They posit that the corporation, rather than merely pursuing financial value creation set out to pursue shared value creation. They further declare Social Entrepreneurs the paragons of said shared value creation. In this paper I critically analyze the pathway of shared value creation in three leading social enterprises. Employing a genealogical perspective I highlight that very innovative shared value creating ventures ended up opting out of shared value creation strategies and embraced either financial or social value primacy strategies. As such I question the power of the shared value creation notion.

Keywords: Social Entrepreneurship, Social Enterprise, Shared Value Creation, Social Value creation, Shareholder, Stakeholder

JEL Classification: A1, H00, I00, K00, M00, O00

Suggested Citation

Pirson, Michael, Social Entrepreneurs as the Paragons of Shared Value Creation? A Critical Perspective (February 2, 2011). Fordham University Schools of Business Research Paper No. 2011-001, Available at SSRN: or

Michael Pirson (Contact Author)

Fordham University - Gabelli School of Business ( email )

140 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10018
United States

Humanistic Management Network ( email )

St. Gallen

Harvard University

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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