The impact of the institutional environment and experience on social entrepreneurship: a multi-group analysis

Ezlika M. Ghazali, Dilip S. Mutum, Haleh Hakim Javadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study presents a framework for integrating distinct perspectives on social entrepreneurship by combining institutional theory with the social entrepreneurship intention model. The framework assesses the relationships between social support and the perceived feasibility and desirability of social entrepreneurship, the relationships between social support and the institutional environments of social workers, and the moderating role of prior experience of social work and volunteering. Design/methodology/approach: The model was tested using 266 validated responses from an online and paper-based survey distributed among social workers. Partial least squares structural equation modelling was used to analyse the data, and multi-group analysis was conducted to examine the moderation effects. Findings: The findings indicate that experience moderates the relationships between the regulatory and cognitive environments, cognitive environments and social support, and social support and perceived feasibility. Experience negatively moderates the relationship between the normative environment and social support. Practical implications: Active government involvement in the form of incentives and financial support would encourage the creation of social ventures. Social implications: Educational programmes are also necessary to help raise awareness and increase the familiarity and knowledge of potential social entrepreneurs. Originality/value: The study analyses the effects of institutional environmental components, recognised as highly influential on the development of social entrepreneurship, as well as the impact of perceived social support on the antecedents of the perceived desirability and feasibility of social entrepreneurship. It also addresses how social work experience modifies these relationships. Contrary to previous studies, the findings suggest that increasing social work experience isolates entrepreneurs from their environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1329-1350
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Social enterprise
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Structural equation modelling

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