The management of social innovation



Publication Details

Dawson, P. M. & Daniel, L. (2007). The management of social innovation. In R. Chapman (Eds.), Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference (pp. 1-12). Sydney, Australia: Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management.


This article draws attention to the growing interest in social innovations that improve thewell being of people, communities and society as a whole. In examining what we mean by socialinnovation, we consider how this differs from other dimensions of innovation. For example, the driveof business innovation is often explained in terms of company survival, maintaining competitiveadvantage, of business profits and commercial viability. Although there has been a growingrecognition of the social determinants of change, it is only more recently, that there has been growingconcern about the impact of innovations on social sustainability and their contributions to society. Weprovide a brief overview of innovation since the industrial revolution in the UK and identify a shift inemphasis from a primarily economic focus towards broader social concerns and a growing interestin, for example, social entrepreneurship. Drawing on previous studies into technical innovation weexamine the complex relationship between the technical and social aspect of change, prior to thedevelopment of a provisional model on social innovation that can be applied to studies oforganizations and company change.

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