Unveil the mysterious veil of social innovation

Driven by the trend of social innovation as the engagement of citizens and organizations in policy and management practice, the adoption of social innovation has been rapidly spurred in scholarly research, despite its conceptual ambiguity and diversity of definitions and research settings. However, as an increase in social innovation has the potential to alter the structure of innovation systems, corporate identities and strategies, employee motivation, as well as public and private governance (Robert and Luis, 2016), it can dramatically change the organization’s operation and the services, then ultimately deliver social impact.

Researchers and scholars have had a rising interest in social innovation in recent years, but the definition of it still remains debated and yet to be solved. Much of the discussion of social innovation is vague, and there are many competing definitions of social innovation that attempt to delineate a field of study (Jenson and Harrison, 2013).

Up to date, the research literature that focuses on social innovation specifically is limited, albeit growing (Nicholls et al., 2015). The main focus of this study could be listed as follows from 1990 till now:

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The definition of social innovation often applies to innovative practice or intervention with social change and social impact, and yet the relationship between them is undefined, which poses a challenge and opportunity for researchers. Overall, there is no established paradigm of social innovation (Nicholls, 2010). But as simplistic it could be, social innovation is perceived as novel ideas that resolve social problems and meet social needs, finally creating social impact.

In practice, social innovations can take the form of specific ideas, actions, frames, models, systems, processes, services, rules, and regulations as well as new organizational forms (Nicholls et al., 2015). As far as we can see that social innovation relies on innovative ideas, social processes, and social outcomes. Interestingly, according to Daniela Papi Thornton, she claimed that social innovation or social entrepreneurship is beyond generating new ideas and putting them into practice, it is to finally create a social systematic change that relevant stakeholders will benefit and long-lasting change is foreseeable.

Edit by SOCIAL INNOVATION INSIGHT

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Originally published at http://socialinnovatorshome.com on February 8, 2022.

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