Africa is at a crossroads. On one hand, it faces numerous intractable sustainable development challenges, including widespread and persistent poverty, increased competition for resources accompanying rapid population growth, and the intensifying effects of global climate change. On the other hand, many African economies are growing rapidly, whilst over the last decade significant progress has been made in governance and human development across the continent. Indeed, in recent times, external perceptions of Africa are changing to see the continent as an 'opportunity' rather than a 'threat'. Many African cities have become centres of (social) innovation and entrepreneurship, with Africans shaping their own destinies and developing local solutions to the sustainable development challenges they face. This special issue of the Africa Journal of Management aims to reflect and speak to these transformations. We invite paper submissions that provide new empirical and theoretical insights on social innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa.
Social innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa have been the subject of growing academic attention (see George et al. 2012; Bitzer et al, 2015; Rivera-Santos et al, 2015; Holt & Littlewood, 2017; Littlewood & Holt, 2018; Mirvis & Googins, 2018; Ciambotti & Pedrini, 2019; Steinfield & Holt, 2019). Nevertheless, research has struggled to keep pace with rapid developments on the ground and in practice. Scholarship on social innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa remains fragmented, with many research questions unanswered. For this reason, we have convened this special issue of the Africa Journal of Management. We therefore invite contributions to the special issue on the following (non-exhaustive) topics:
The deadline for paper submissions is 20th November 2020.
Submitted papers should follow the guidelines for the Africa Journal of Management: https://www.tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission?show=instructions&journalCode=rajm20
Submissions should be written in English. Submitted papers will go through a double blind peer-review process as per the guidelines of the Journal. Submissions to the special issue should be sent first to the special issues guest editors. Please email submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The special issue editors will also be running a special stream on "Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Africa", at the 12th International Social Innovation Research Conference, Sheffield University Management School, 1st -3rd September 2020. Submitters to the special issue are encouraged to submit to this stream for initial feedback, although this is not compulsory: https://isircconference2020.com/
Bitzer, V., Hamann, R., Hall, M., & Nwosu, E. (2015). The Business of Social and Environmental Innovation: Frontiers in Research and Practice in Africa. Berlin: Springer and Cape Town: UCT Press.
Ciambotti, G. & Pedrini, M. (2019). Hybrid Harvesting Strategies to Overcome Resource Constraints: Evidence from Social Enterprises in Kenya. Journal of Business Ethics. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-019-04256-y
George, G., McGahan, A. M., & Prabhu, J. (2012). Innovation for inclusive growth: Towards a theoretical framework and a research agenda. Journal of Management Studies, 49(4), 661-683.
Holt, D. & Littlewood, D. (2017). Waste livelihoods amongst the poor - through the lens of bricolage. Business Strategy and the Environment, 26(2) 253-264.
Littlewood. D. & Holt. D. (2018). Social Entrepreneurship in South Africa: Exploring the Influence of Environment. Business and Society, 57(3) 525-561.
Mirvis, P. & Googins, B. (2018). Catalyzing Social Entrepreneurship in Africa: Roles for Western Universities, NGOs and Corporations, Africa Journal of Management, 4(1), pp57-83.
Rivera-Santos, M., Holt. D., Littlewood, D. & Kolk, A. (2015). Social entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa. Academy of Management Perspectives, 29 72-91.
Steinfield LA, & Holt D. (2019). Toward A Theory on the Reproduction of Social Innovations in Subsistence Marketplaces. Journal of Product Innovation Management. 36(6), pp. 764-799
About the Special Issue editors
David Littlewood (BSc, MSc, PhD) is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at Sheffield University Management School, the University of Sheffield, UK. He conducts research in the areas of social enterprise and innovation, corporate social responsibility, and the informal economy. By geography, Dr Littlewood's work focusses on Sub-Saharan Africa. His research has been published in varied academic outlets including the Academy of Management Perspectives, Business & Society, the California Management Review, Business Strategy and the Environment, and the Journal of Business Ethics amongst others. He is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow and sits on the editorial review boards of the journal Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, and the Social Enterprise Journal.
Diane Holt (BSc, MSc, PhD) is a Professor in Entrepreneurship at Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds. She is also Director of the Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies. Professor Holt previously held posts at Essex Business School (2013-2019), Queen's University Belfast (2007-2013) and Middlesex University Business School (1996-2007). Her work has a strong focus on sub-Saharan Africa. She was the principal investigator on the ESRC funded Trickle Out Africa Project which considers the role of social and environmental enterprises in poverty alleviation and sustainable development in Africa. She has published over 100 peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters and conference papers.
Giacomo Ciambotti (BSc, MSc) is a final year PhD candidate at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Italy) and research fellow at ALTIS - Graduate School of Business & Society. Giacomo spent time as a consultant supporting social entrepreneurs in East Africa to develop and implement their business plans; he has also worked for KPMG Advisory in Milan. Giacomo is a member at the E4Impact Foundation, which delivers programmes for impact entrepreneurs in more than 10 African countries. He is also visiting lecturer of Financial Planning in multiple African countries including in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Rwanda. His research particularly focuses on management and growth of hybrid organizations and social enterprises. He is a regular contributor to international academic conferences, and his research has been published in books and academic journals, including the Journal of Business Ethics.
Laurel Steinfield (BComm, MSc, DPhil) is an assistant professor of marketing at Bentley University (USA). Her work focuses on subsistence marketplaces and explores (social) interventions/innovations that can improve livelihoods. Her prior research has examined entrepreneurship in Eastern/Southern Africa, and corporate-led women economic empowerment initiatives. As a transformative consumer research scholar, she views social innovations/intervention as a key mechanism with which to address intersectional injustices and to achieve the SDGs. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Product Innovation Management, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, amongst others, and has featured in numerous books and encyclopaedia entries.