Social innovation and social enterprises: acknowledging ethical roots to boost positive societal change

Antonino Vaccaro, Tommaso Ramus*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In this introductory chapter, we problematize social enterprises and social innovation as ontological distinct phenomena which, however, have a common ethical ground. We advance that this communality needs to be acknowledged and investigated in order to allow for a holistic and deeper understanding of these phenomena. In particular, we suggest that recognizing the ethical roots of social innovation and social enterprises can favor a deeper understanding of how different ethical paradigms influence the functioning of social enterprises and social innovations, while also shedding new light on the tensions that might emerge when business organizations address in innovative ways deep seated societal problems. Based on this acknowledgement we then introduce the different chapters constituting this book. We summarize each chapter, and emphasize how each of them contributes to a better understanding of the ethical challenges and opportunities associated with social enterprises and social innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIssues in business ethics
EditorsAntonino Vaccaro, Tommaso Ramus
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783030965969
ISBN (Print)9783030965952
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameIssues in Business Ethics
ISSN (Print)0925-6733
ISSN (Electronic)2215-1680


  • Ethics
  • Sense of purpose
  • Social enterprises
  • Social impact
  • Social innovation
  • Values


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