Edited by Maritza I. Espina, Phillip H. Phan and Gideon D. Markman
Chapter 8: “Make love, not war?” – a processbased approach to social innovation
Traditional approaches to social innovation focus on products, services, and ideas that enable social problems to be solved. They also often view social innovation as resulting from a cross-fertilization between multiple stakeholders. We advocate for a process-based approach to social innovation internal to organizations, anchored in the concept of ethical love. While love, as a concept, has only received attention recently in academic management research, contrary to its common usage in psychology, we propose a philosophical and anthropological perspective on the call for love in organizations and distinguish – with the help of the philosopher Levinas – between “political love” and “ethical love.” We argue that, while organizations have mainly been used to inspire political love, especially in the field of social innovation, they need to discover ethical love as a source of innovation, drawing from beyond the organization and psychology.
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