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Social Value in Business: An Interdisciplinary Integrative Review, Typology, and Research Agenda.

Authors/Editors: de la Cruz, M.
Spanjol, J.
Published: 2021
Type: Articles in Refereed Proceedings (International)
ISBN/ISSN: 2151-6561
Published by: Academy of Management (AoM); Best Paper Proceedings; Proceedings of the Eighty-first Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management. 2021


Although the concept of "social value" has been present in business and management literature for more than 100 years, it lacks a definitional consensus, is often imprecise and subjective, and has not been sufficiently theorized. To address these conceptual and theoretical deficiencies and create a more precise understanding of social value, we conduct an integrative review comprising 135 articles drawn from leading peer-reviewed journals across business disciplines. We identify and integrate heterogeneous conceptual perspectives by developing a polythetic typology of social value. The proposed typology identifies five approaches to understanding and managing social value in business: maximizing approach, individualistic approach, stakeholder approach, virtuous approach and normative approach. This typology synthesizes the many conceptualizations about the nature of value and social as well as underlying value creation and value capturing mechanisms. We further derive future research priorities for the scholarly business and management community highlighting important, currently unanswered research questions. We believe that this typology offers scholars and practitioners new ways of thinking about social value and helps to structure and unify the various conceptualizations of social value into a more holistic understanding supporting researchers to position their work within the broad literature.

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