The Impact of Social Enterprises: A Bibliometric Analysis From 1991 to 2020

Faraudello Alessandra, Barreca Manuela, Iannaci Daniel, Lanzara Federica


The aim of this work is to provide, through a bibliometric analysis of the last 30 years of thematic literature, an overview on the contribution of social enterprises to the achievement of global goals.

A bibliometric method has been used to analyze the characteristics, citation patterns and content of 3318 documents published in international academic journals, books review and chapters, editorial material and proceedings papers.

Considering our findings, the bibliometric analysis has shown that there are journals that have had a greater production on the topic with an impact on research. Thanks to the work of the most impactful authors, it emerges that the case study is the most used method to demonstrate the centrality of social enterprises in social innovation. The analysis also shows that the centrality of the themes is linked to innovation, impact, management and performance, demonstrating the assumption that the driver of innovation in terms of social impact is given by these types of companies. The research also shows the keyword evolution through the years.

Through the coding activity, it has also been possible to demonstrate that by transposing the global sustainability objectives to the local that the more in-depth ones are addressed on the issues of sustainable economy and fair, responsible and sustainable innovation, while there is much shortcoming regarding the achievement of gender equality, sustainable water management but even more on the reduction of inequality between nations. The latter is probably conditioned by the more global target and therefore not easily approachable to social enterprises.

Research limitations/implications – The study shows a limitation, related to the adoption of the bibliometric method. However, it considers books review, chapters, papers published in international and academic journals, editorial materials, reviews and proceedings papers.

Originality/value – This research shows that the interest on SDG and social enterprises has grown continuously in the last 30 years, especially in the last 5. The literature puts social enterprises at the center of social innovation by focusing on performance and management issues. Therefore, with the intention of mapping the studies that have been done in this regard, the study analyzed how research on local development coherence for global development has been addressed.

Full Text:



Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

International Journal of Financial Research
ISSN 1923-4023(Print)ISSN 1923-4031(Online)


Copyright © Sciedu Press

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.