Chapter 7: Stakeholder salience and disruptive innovation in social entrepreneurship
This chapter advances theory in social entrepreneurship by exploring how stakeholder salience affects the mechanisms that underlie disruptive innovation. Disruptive innovation research has typically been applied to studies of product development and the broader commercial sector, leaving a gap in our understanding of its relevance in other contexts. We postulate that traditional ideas of disruptive innovation based on customer power and resource allocation may be generalized when key assumptions are relaxed. We contribute to the social entrepreneurship literature by explaining how stakeholder salience extends the idea of customer power in contexts where there are many influential stakeholders. We further delineate how stakeholder salience alters current explanations for how resource allocation may affect disruptive innovation. Throughout the chapter, we highlight how these ideas are particularly germane to research in social entrepreneurship. We also underscore the need for practitioners to be aware of the ways in which stakeholder salience influences social ventures and the importance of assessing the deleterious or helpful effects stakeholders may have on disruptive innovation.
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