A Guide for Perplexed Scholars, Entrepreneurs, Philanthropists, Leaders, Investors, and Policymakers
Edited by Dennis R. Young, Elizabeth A.M. Searing and Cassady V. Brewer
Innovation offers another way of organizing the animals in the social enterprise zoo. Narrow definitions of innovation are limited to the adoption or generation of new or novel behaviors and technologies. These definitions do not adequately account for the pragmatic and solution-oriented organizations found in the social enterprise zoo, often operating under environmental conditions (i.e., low human capital, lack of resources, cultural factors) that prohibit entirely new and novel adaptations aimed at addressing social problems. Here we examine the relevance of different types of innovation (e.g., product, process, marketing) offered by animals in the social enterprise zoo, the adoption of existing innovations, and the internal generation of innovations, and we describe two innovation-related dimensions around which those animals in the social enterprise zoo introduced by Schumpeterian entrepreneurs can be organized: by their theories of social change and by categories of innovation itself (product, process, market, institutional, and ecological innovations). With these dimensions, a new taxonomy of social enterprise animals is developed that illuminates how social entrepreneurs, policymakers and funders shape the ecology of the zoo through the pursuit of social innovation.
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