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Theories of Social Innovation

Danielle Logue

As we grapple with how to respond to some of the world’s most pressing problems, such as inequality, poverty and climate change, there is growing global interest in ‘social innovation’ as a potential solution. But what exactly is ‘social innovation’? This book describes three ways to theorise social innovation when seeking to manage and organize for both social and economic progress.
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Chapter 2: Social innovation as social value creation, capture and distribution

Danielle Logue

Extract

In Chapter 2, I theorize social innovation as social value creation, social value capture and social value distribution. I refer to social value specifically as it enables distinction between processes and outcomes of social value creation and value capture, and builds off the historical anchoring of social innovation in ideas about value co-production. This draws on a more positivist interpretation of the generation and allocation of ‘value’, with social value being similarly organized and managed to economic value. What I find missing in existing literature however is any theorizing of value distribution, an essential and distinct mechanism in social innovation for ensuring the value produced and captured is indeed shared. As such I necessarily theorize the idea of social value distribution based on the notion that social innovation is about collectivity and sharing of rewards (and risk for that matter), presenting three models of social value distribution. I suggest this is particularly valuable for understanding the social value distribution inherent in particular organizational models of social enterprise.

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