In joint work with Susanne Vogl we found that the motivation of altruistic economic actors, such as social entrepreneurs is multi-dimensional. We claim that there exists “a conceptual association between those actors success, entrepreneurship, motivation and social relations”. We devised a novel methodology to conduct a semantic analysis of their expressed motivations with the use of social network analysis. We found that by:
“Creating a graph of proximity between concept categories we have depicted the corpus of their discourse on their motivations. We have detected a distinction between concepts associated to political roles that are clustered on the right side of graph 1, which references network competence and whether success depends on networks. Civic roles associated with social justice and the increase of social capital are clustered at the top of the graph. While economic agency associated to opportunity and management tasks is mainly located to the left and bottom of the graph. These areas are therefore conceptually distinct in the discourse of SE. We suggest that these distinct concept groups associate to political, civic and economic roles.”
Full paper draft in the research section of this blog. We hope to be able to do more research in this area in the future, both in developing a methodology of semantic network analysis and in attaining substantive insights on altruistic economic agents.