The dynamics of innovation and social capital in social enterprises: a relational sense-making perspective

Patrick Dawson, Jonathan M Scott, John L Thompson, David Preece

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Abstract

We develop a relational sense-making framework in order to understand the ways in which knowledge and information, when transferred across social networks, enable or inhibit the innovation process and its sustainability within social enterprises. Our model comprises four main elements: (i) Social capital, (ii) the Innovation, (iii) the Process, and (iv) Adoption and ongoing support (SIPA). Collective understanding through sense-making and sense-giving is fundamental to the successful management and sustainability of innovation projects. The social capital which emerges and develops may incorporate formal and/or informal group(s) linked by particular interests, common goals and/or shared agenda(s). Broadly speaking, the innovation may be directed towards either a problem or an opportunity for the collective. The ‘black box’ process through which different views and interests are presented, interpreted and collective sense-making occurs in the further development and uptake of innovation is by its nature: multifaceted, complex and non-linear. The temporal fragility of certain innovations necessitates ongoing support and acceptance in order to achieve longer-term sustainability. The iterative relations between these elements of social capital, innovation, process and adoption occur within a social, political and economic context in which sense-making and sense-giving of individuals and groups often compete. A key objective of our research is, therefore, to tease out the extent to which and the ways in which social relationships and networks, innovation intentions and technology development are influenced by social capital dynamics within organizations, social enterprises in particular.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the social innovation & entrepreneurship conference: extending theory, integrating practice
EditorsAnne de Bruen, Loren M Stangi
PublisherNew Zealand Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research Centre
Pages177-191
ISBN (Print)9780473203559
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventSocial Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research Conference, Massey University - Massey University, New Zealand
Duration: 1 Dec 20113 Dec 2011

Conference

ConferenceSocial Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research Conference, Massey University
CountryNew Zealand
Period1/12/113/12/11

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    Dawson, P., Scott, J. M., Thompson, J. L., & Preece, D. (2011). The dynamics of innovation and social capital in social enterprises: a relational sense-making perspective. In A. de Bruen, & L. M. Stangi (Eds.), Proceedings of the social innovation & entrepreneurship conference: extending theory, integrating practice (pp. 177-191). New Zealand Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research Centre.