RAM – Revista de Administração Mackenzie - CALL FOR PAPERS - SPECIAL ISSUE
SOCIAL INNOVATION: Researching, defining and theorizing social innovation
Cláudia Cristina Bitencourt - Unisinos/Brasil
Luciano Barin Cruz - HEC Montreal/Canada
Emmanuel Raufflet - HEC Montreal/Canada
Submission deadline: February 15, 2016
Issue estimated: July/August/2016
Societal problems represent both opportunities and challenges for organizations. Issues such as poverty, climate change and inequality can be seen either as a burden or as a source for innovation. Multinational Corporations, Non-Profit Organizations (NGOs), Cooperatives and Social-Purpose Organizations have engaged in projects that can tackle some of these major societal issues.
Social innovation has emerged in recent years as an area of interest for scholars and practitioners (Nicholls et al. 2015). Although it has been discussed under different definitions, we refer to social innovation here as “new organizational and institutional forms, new ways of doing things, new social practices, new mechanisms, new approaches and new concepts that give rise to concrete achievements and improvements.” (CRISES, 2004:1).
The purpose of this Special Issue is to encourage scholars to view social innovation under different perspectives. We acknowledge the extent of empirical experiences based on different parts of the world and we wish to propose an open and systematic debate on theories influencing social innovation, methods used to study social innovation, managerial aspects of social innovation and types of social innovation.
This call is structured on the following (non-excluding) issues:
Theories influencing social innovation: Institutional theory (Barin Cruz, Delgado, Leca & Gond, forthcoming; Mair, Marti & Ventrasca, 2012), strategy (Herrera, 2015), and leadership (Marcy, 2015), resourced-based-view and competencies (Hart, 1995; Bitencourt & Oliveira, 2014; Berti & Bitencourt, 2012), organizational learning and learning based on social spaces (Chalmers, 2012; Mozzato & Bitencourt, 2014) are examples of theories that have been used to analyse SI in management. What is the potential of these theories in contributing to the SI issue? What other theoretical approaches have the potential to advance SI literature? What are possible contributions
by theories from other fields (e.g. geography, political science, sociology, etc.) to explain further the SI phenomena? Is there such a thing as an SI theory or it is a phenomenon that needs an inter-disciplinarian approach to be explained and understood?
Research Methods and social innovation: SI can be understood from diverse angles (e.g. product, process, organizational form, outcomes, etc.), multiple methods can help to map, define and conceptualize social innovation and advance literature in the field. SI is also viewed as a research process per se which shifts the role of researchers to co-creators of social innovation. Which methods and epistemological approaches are mobilized to
analyze different types of SI? From an epistemological dimension, what are the experiences of co-creating social innovation among researchers and actors? From a methodological viewpoint, what are the respective advantages
of qualitative and quantitative methods in this field? How to use mix methods in the area and what are their potential and limitations? What are the implications of different data collection and analysis techniques?
Organizational aspects: “Managing” SI may be an oxymoron. For “managers” it is challenging and differs widely depending on the circumstances. In the case of social purpose organizations, sometimes, the use of traditional managerial tools and processes may not be adequate (Brown, 2015; Bitencourt et. al., 2014; Raufflet, Berranger & Gouin, 2008; Raufflet & Gurgel, 2007). We would like to explore several aspects of SI management. How is the SI development process (from an idea to its implementation)? What are the related SI phases and levels? How is the
cooperative relationship between different agents involved in the SI unfolding process? What are the SI governance challenges?
Types of social innovation: SI can be seen as a product and a process. It can also be an organizational form with a social purpose, such as cooperatives (Leca, Gond & Barin Cruz, 2014), NGOs, social businesses (Yunus, Moingeon & Lehmann-Ortega, 2010), as a project with a social purpose in a traditional company (Porter & Kramer, 2011), as well as processes between organizations. Considering these multiple types of social innovation, we encourage studies aimed at issues such as: What are the facilitators and inhibitors involved in SI?; What is the impact of SI (transformations and other results) at different levels (individual, organizational, institutional)? How to evaluate the impacts and effects of social innovation? Do different types of SI always produce social transformation? Can social transformation be negative? What is the role of social entrepreneurs in social innovation?
This special issue welcomes submission of theoretical and/or empirical qualitative or quantitative studies, with a clear contribution to the advancement of knowledge in one or more of the four areas previously approached.
It must be noted that RAM will only accept unpublished journal papers.
Papers submitted in conferences are allowed. For this Special Issue, only papers written in English will be accepted.
Interested authors are strongly encouraged to submit their papers for review and publication. All articles judged suitable for consideration will be reviewed in a double peer review process.
Authors can submit papers online to “Social Innovation” section at
- At IDIOMA, select English.
See main page of RAM at:
Barin Cruz, L.; Delgado, N. A.; Leca, B. & Gond, J-P. Institutional
Resilience in Extreme Operating Environments: The role of Institutional
Work. Business & Society, (forthcoming).
Berti, A.; Bitencourt, C.C. A dinâmica das competências organizacionais na
venda de calçados por catálogo: o caso da Azaléia Colômbia (2012).
Espacios Vol. 33, pp. 5, 2012.
Bitencourt, C. C. ; Oliveira, T. R. (2014). Dependência e Criação de
Trajetória na Organização Não Governamental Parceiros Voluntários.
Revista de Administração Contemporânea, Vol. 18, pp. 328-350.
Bitencourt, C. C. ; Brito, A. N.; Fagundes, P.; Villwock, L.H; Culleton, A.;
Rohden, I. (2010). Doing better by doing good: the experience of a community
network in Brazil. International Journal of Business and Systems Research,
Vol. 4, pp. 209-226, 2010.
Brown, Louise (2015). A Lasting Legacy? Sustaining Innovation in a Social
Work Context. British Journal of Social Work. (45)1, 138-152.
Chalmers, Dominic (2012). Social innovation: an exploratory of the barriers
faced by innovating organizations in the social economy. Local Economy,
CRISES. 2004. An Introduction to CRISES. See
Hart, S. L. (1995). A Natural-Resource-Based View of the Firm. The Academy
of Management Review, 20 (4), 986-1014.
Herrera, M. E. B. Creating competitive advantage by institutionalizing
corporate social innovation. Journal of Business Venturing. 68(7):1468-1474.
Leca, B., Gond, J-P. & Barin Cruz, L. 2014. Building ‘Critical
Performativity Engines’ for deprived communities: The construction of
popular cooperative incubators in Brazil. Organization. 21:683-712.
Mair, J., Marti, I., & Ventresca, M. J. (2012). Building inclusive markets
in rural Bangladesh: how intermediaries work institutional voids. Academy of
Management Journal, 55(4), 819–850.
Marcy, R. T. (2015) Breaking mental models as a form of creative
destruction: The role of leader cognition in radical social innovations.
Leadership Quarterly. 26(3): 370-385.
Mozzato, A.R.; Bitencourt, C. C. (2014). Understanding Interorganizational
Learning Based on Social Spaces and Learning Episodes. Brazilian
Administration Review, 11: 284-301.
Nicholls, A. J. Simon and Gabriel - 2015 - New Frontiers in Social
Innovation Research, available at books.google.com
Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. (2011). Creating Shared Value. Harvard
Business Review: 62-77.
Raufflet. E, A. Berranger, J.F. Gouin, (2008), Innovation in
business-community partnerships: evaluating the impact of local enterprise
and global investment models on poverty, bio-diversity and development,
Corporate Governance Journal: The International Journal of Business in
Society, 8(4): 546-556.
Raufflet, E. & C. C. Gurgel, (2007), Bridging business and society: the
ABRINQ Foundation in Brazil, The Journal of Business Ethics, 73: 11-23
Yunus, M., Moingeon, B. and Lehmann-Ortega, L. (2010), “Building Social
Business Models: Lessons from the Grameen Experience”, Long Range
Planning, 43(2-3): 308-325.
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