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New SI-DRIVE Report provides the first comprehensive examination of the relationship between social Innovation and social change

While the "Critical Literature Review" focused on theoretical insights from development and innovation studies for a comprehensive concept of social innovation, the succeeding SI-DRIVE report "Social Innovation and its Relationship to social Change - Report 2: Verifying existing social theories in reference to social innovation and its relationship to social change" examines the relationship between social innovation and social change.

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The analysis of a variety of foremost sociological approaches reveals that a comprehensive, transferable theory of social change does not exist hitherto. Reaching from i.a. a structuration theory perspective over the capability approach and institution theories to transformation research, the authors Howaldt and Schwarz scrutinize a wide array of theories offering connecting points to the SI-DRIVE definition of social innovation. In this respect, social innovation is a core element and generative mechanism of social change and, consequently, the process of social innovation has to be seen as a process of social change. In this perspective, the relationship between social innovation and social change is then a question of breadth and depth in which a social innovation spreads in society or the societal subsystems and fundamentally, yet temporarily, changes these by being institutionalised as a new social practice changing the existing structures, policies, institutions, and behaviour.

The theoretical considerations of this report, thus, form another crucial building brick towards a practice-oriented theory of social innovation providing a basis for the project’s further empirical work in exploring the world of social innovations.

 


 

Link to the full report