Abstract

Despite increasing recognition of its contribution to development in many parts of the world, academic research about social entrepreneurship remains in its infancy. There has been little inquiry into the rationale for social entrepreneurship, despite its potential to clarify many conceptual ambiguities associated with this emerging phenomenon. In response to such a gap, the present study advances a compelling framework from classic sociology, that of Max Weber’s Typology of Rationality, as a means to explain the motivations of social entrepreneurs in the tourism industry. The framework is applied to the cases of two social entrepreneurs in India. The study emphasizes the concepts of formal and substantive rationality, which represent Weber’s most significant contributions to the understanding of human behavior. It also reveals the dynamic interplay between the two types of rationality, thus extending the understanding of Weber’s Typology in the context of social entrepreneurship in tourism.

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Examining the Motivations for Social Entrepreneurship in Tourism using Max Weber’s Typology of Rationality

Despite increasing recognition of its contribution to development in many parts of the world, academic research about social entrepreneurship remains in its infancy. There has been little inquiry into the rationale for social entrepreneurship, despite its potential to clarify many conceptual ambiguities associated with this emerging phenomenon. In response to such a gap, the present study advances a compelling framework from classic sociology, that of Max Weber’s Typology of Rationality, as a means to explain the motivations of social entrepreneurs in the tourism industry. The framework is applied to the cases of two social entrepreneurs in India. The study emphasizes the concepts of formal and substantive rationality, which represent Weber’s most significant contributions to the understanding of human behavior. It also reveals the dynamic interplay between the two types of rationality, thus extending the understanding of Weber’s Typology in the context of social entrepreneurship in tourism.