Social Innovation: Buzz Word Or Enduring Term?
AbstractOne of the striking features of our society is the incessant urge for the creation, adoption and diffusion of innovations. Innovation takes many forms: technological, organizational, social, artistic, for example. The term ‘social innovation’ has come into common parlance in recent years. Some analysts consider social innovation no more than a buzz word or passing fad that is too vague to be usefully applied to academic scholarship. Some social scientists, however, see significant value in the concept of social innovation because it identifies a critical type of innovation. In this paper we suggest a working definition of social innovation that captures the common denominator of the existing definitions of the term. We show that when its empirical meaning is distilled, the term is of great importance. We distinguish social innovation from business innovation, and identify a subset of social innovations that requires government support. A subsidiary message of the paper –obvious, but often forgotten– is that interdisciplinary communication may be more fruitful if we realize that terminological discipline is a necessary condition in the search for improved knowledge.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia in its series Economics Working Papers with number wp08-09.
Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
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Postal: School of Economics, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong NSW 2522 Australia
Phone: +612 4221-3659
Fax: +612 4221-3725
Web page: http://business.uow.edu.au/econ/index.html
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Business innovation; Social innovation; Quality of life; Pure social innovation; Bifocal innovation; Government support;
Other versions of this item:
- Pol, Eduardo & Ville, Simon, 2009. "Social innovation: Buzz word or enduring term?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 878-885, December.
- I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
- I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
- O31 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
- O38 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
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