Local relationships matter! The impact of intellectual capital on entrepreneurial bricolage in African social entrepreneurs

Giacomo Ciambotti, Francesca Sgrò, Nick Bontis, Maria Cristina Zaccone

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review


Social entrepreneurs aim to create societal value while pursuing financial sustainability. However, they typically face several challenges and constraints when operating in resource-scarce environments. For this reason, social entrepreneurs typically engage in entrepreneurial bricolage, which is described as a process of using whatever tools and resources necessary that are immediately available. The behavioral theory of entrepreneurial bricolage attempts to understand what entrepreneurs do when faced with resource constraints. In this vital process, little empirical research has been conducted to investigate what drives social entrepreneurs to engage in such a way. This study aims to understand the antecedents of bricolage and, in particular, empirically test its link to intellectual capital. A survey was administered to 115 social entrepreneurs from Ghana and Sierra Leone. Data analysis shows that relational capital plays a crucial role in driving social entrepreneurs to engage with bricolage. In fact, the quality of local relationships and external support received (by suppliers, customers, and communities) is positively related and statistically significant with entrepreneurial bricolage. The results of this study not only extend the academic literature of bricolage in social entrepreneurship but also point out the focal role of relational capital as an enabler toward effectively operating in difficult conditions in developing African countries. We thus provide theoretical implications to the field of social entrepreneurship through the lens of intellectual capital and knowledge management. Practical implications are provided to social entrepreneurs operating in developing countries, such as government, NGOs, and agencies seeking to support entrepreneurship initiatives. Limitations and future research opportunities are suggested as well.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)321-330
Numero di pagine10
RivistaKnowledge and Process Management
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • entrepreneurial bricolage
  • intellectual capital


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