2020 (17), №4

Digital Transformation of the Informal Institutional Environment and its Impact on Social Entrepreneurship Taking into Account the Life Cycle

For citation: 

Veretennikova, A. Yu., & Kozinskaya, K. M. (2020). Digital Transformation of the Informal Institutional Environment and its Impact on Social Entrepreneurship Taking into Account the Life Cycle. Zhurnal Economicheskoj Teorii [Russian Journal of Economic Theory], 17 (4), 932-943.


Social entrepreneurship is a relatively new form of solving problems in society. The development of social entrepreneurship depends on many factors, particularly the formal and informal institutional environment. The latter is undergoing rapid transformations driven by digital technology. The purpose of this study is to analyze and substantiate the impact of digitalization on the informal institutional environment at various stages of a social enterprise’s life cycle. The study uses the data on European countries provided by international reports the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) and European Index of Digital Entrepreneurship Systems (EIDES). Methodologically, we rely on regression and correlation analysis methods. The study provides evidence of the significance of the Internet accessibility to households for the development of social entrepreneurship. The research also shows the features of informal institutions for social entrepreneurship. The theoretical significance of this study is that we showed the patterns of social entrepreneurship development, taking into account the digital component of informal institutions. As for the practical significance of the study, we have demonstrated that it is important to consider specific stages in the life cycle of an organization and their characteristics in designing economic institutions to stimulate the development of social entrepreneurship.

PDF full
Downloaded: 13

Anna Yur’evna Veretennikova — PhD in Economics, Senior Researcher, Institute of Economics of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation; e-mail: vay_uiec@mail.ru).

Ksenia Mikhaylovna Kozinskaya — Senior Researcher, Institute of Economics of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation; e-mail: ksush1@yandex.ru).

Popov, E. V. (2018). Ekonotronika [Econotronics].  Ekonomika regiona [Economy of the region], 14(1),  13–28. (In Russ.)

Popov, E. V., Veretennikova, A. Yu., Naumov, I. V., & Kozinskaya, K. M. (2018). Neformal’naya institutsional’naya sreda sotsial’nogo predprinimatel’stva [Non-Formal Institutional Environment of Social Entrepreneurship].  Ekonomicheskie i sotsial’nye peremeny: fakty, tendentsii, prognoz [Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast], 11(4),  217–234. DOI: 10.15838/esc.2018.4.58.14 (In Russ.)

Popov, E. V., Veretennikova, A. Yu., & Kozinskaya, K. M. (2019). Mirovye nauchnye shkoly issledovaniya sotsial’nogo predprinimatel’stva [World research schools of social entrepreneurship].  Vestnik Tyumenskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Sotsial’no-ekonomicheskie i pravovye issledovaniya [Tyumen State University Herald. Social, Economic, and Law Research], 5(1),  157–177. (In Russ.)

Tambovtsev, V. L. (2014). Obshchestvennye blaga i obshchestvennye interesy: est’ li svyaz’? [Public goods and Public interests:Is There a Connection?].  Voprosy ekonomiki [Voprosy Ekonomiki], 11,  25–40. https://doi.org/10.32609/0042–8736–2014–11–25–40 (In Russ.)

Tambovtsev, V. L. (2014).  Ekonomicheskaya teoriya neformal’nykh institutov [Economic theory of informal institutions].  Moscow, Russia: RG-Progress. (In Russ.)

Shmerlina, I. A. (2008). Ponyatie «sotsial’nyy institut»: analiz issledovatel’skikh podkhodov [Social institutes: review of the research approaches].  Sotsiologicheskiy zhurnal [Sociological journal], 4,  available at: https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/ponyatie-sotsialnyy-institut-analiz-issledovatelskih-podhodov (accessed: 05.05.2020). (In Russ.)

Ahlstrom, D., & Bruton, G. D. (2002). An institutional perspective on the role of culture in shaping strategic actions by technology-focused entrepreneurial firms in China.  Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 26 (4),  53–70.

Autio, E., et al. (2019).  EIDES 2019 The European Index of Digital Entrepreneurship Systems.  In Rossetti, F., Nepelski, D. et al. (Eds.). Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, available at: https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/JRC117495/jrc117495_eides_2019_final_with_identifiers.pdf (accessed: 03.09.2020).

Azari, J., & Smith, J. (2012). Unwritten rules: Informal institutions in established democracies.  Perspectives on Politics, 10(1),  37–55. DOI: 10.1017/S1537592711004890.

Basu, A., & Altinay, E. (2002). The interaction between culture and entrepreneurship in London’s immigrant businesses.  International Small Business Journal, 20(4),  371–393.

Battilana, J., Lee, M., Walker, J., & Dorsey, C. (2012). In search of the hybrid ideal.  Stanford Social Innovation Review, 10,  51–55.

Bosma, N. el al. (2016).  Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. Special topic Report on Social Entrepreneurship,  available at: https://www.gemconsortium.org/report/gem-2015-report-on-social-entrepreneurship (accessed: 03. 09. 2020).

Busenitz, L., & Lau, C. (1996). New venture teams assessment of learning assistance from venture capital firms.  Journal of Business Venturing, 20 (4),  25–40.

Crimmins, J. C., & Keil, M. (1983).  Enterprise in the nonprofit sector.  New York, Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Dees, J., Anderson, B. (2006). Framing a theory of entrepreneurship: building on two schools of practice and thought.  ARNOVA Occasional Paper Series: Research on Social Entrepreneurship: Understanding and Contributing to an Emerging Field, 1(3),  39–66.

Defourny, J., Favreau, L., & Laville, J.-L. (2001). Tackling social exclusion in Europe. The contribution of the social economy. In Spear, R., Defourny, J., Favreau, L. and Laville, J.-L. (Eds.).  Introduction to an International Evaluation.  Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Ltd, 3–28.

Elster, J. (1989). Social Norms and Economic Theory.  Journal of Economic Perspectives, 3(4),  99–117.

Fuentelsaz, L., González, C., & Maicas, J. P. (2019). Formal institutions and opportunity entrepreneurship. The contingent role of informal institutions.  BRQ Business Research Quarterly, 22(1),  5–24. DOI: 10.1016/j.brq.2018.06.002.

Gartner, W. (1985). A conceptual framework for describing the phenomenon of new venture creation.  Academy of Management Review, 10(4),  696–706.

Hajli, M. (2014). Social commerce for innovation.  International Journal of Innovation Management, 18 (4),  1–24.

Halme, M., & Laurila, J. (2009). Philanthropy, integration or innovation? Exploring the financial and societal outcomes of different types of corporate responsibility.  Journal of Business Ethics, 84(3),  325–339. DOI: 10.1007/s10551–008–9712–5.

Helmke, G., & Levitsky, S. (2004). Informal Institutions and Comparative Politics: A research Agenda.  Perspectives on Politics, 2(4),  725–740.

Helmke, G., & Levitsky, S. (Eds.) (2006).  Informal Institutions and Democracy: Lessons from Latin America.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 368.

Igarashi, Y., & Okada, M. (2015). Social innovation through a dementia project using innovation architecture.  Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 97,  193–204.

Knight, G. A. (1997). Strategy and entrepreneurship in a developing free trade area: the case of the textiles/apparel industry in Canada.  International Journal of Management, 14(2),  237–250.

Lapinski, М. К., & Rimal R. N. (2005). An Explication of Social Norms.  Communication Theory, 15(2),  127–147.

Lynn, R. (1991).  The Secret of the Miracle Economy: Different National Attitudes to Competitiveness and Money.  The Social Affairs Unit, London.

Mair, J., & Martí, I. (2006). Social entrepreneurship research: a source of explanation, prediction, and delight.  Journal of World Business, 41(1),  36–44. DOI: 10.1016/j.jwb.2005.09.002.

McMullen, J. S., Bagby, D. R., & Palich, L. E. (2008). Economic freedom and the motivation to engage in entrepreneurial action.  Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 32 (5),  875–895.

North, D. C. (1990).  Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance.  Cambridge University Press.

Prodanov, H. (2018). Social Enterpreneurship And Digital Technologies.  Economic Alternatives, 1,  123–138.

Schmoller, G. (1900).  Grundriss der Allgemeinen Volkswirtschaftslehre.  Munich; Leipzig: Duncker: Humblot.

Scott, R. W. (2014).  Institutions and organizations: ideas, interests, and identities.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 293.

Shane, S. (1992). Why do some societies achieve and not others.  Journal of Business Venturing, 7(1),  29–46.

Stephan, U., & Uhlaner, L. (2010). Performance-based vs. socially supportive culture: A cross-national study of descriptive norms and entrepreneurship.  Journal of International Business Studies, 41 (8),  1347–1364.

Tan, J. (2002). Culture, nation, and entrepreneurial strategic orientations: implications for an emerging economy.  Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 26 (4),  95–111.

Torres, P., & Augusto, M. (2020). Digitalisation, social entrepreneurship and national well-being.  Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 161.

Uhlaner, L., & Thurik, R. (2007). Postmaterialism influencing total entrepreneurial activity across nations.  Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 17 (2),  161–185.

Veblen, T. (1984).  Theory of an idle class.  Moscow, Progress.

Zahra, S., & Wright, M. (2014). Contextualization and the advancement of entrepreneurship research.  International Small Business Journal, 32 (5),  479–500, DOI: 10.1177/0266242613519807.