On the theory of social innovations

26. Feb 2015

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The term ‘social innovation’ is currently becoming increasingly significant in social and political discourse. However, so far there is still no theoretically grounded, practicable concept of social innovation. Through recourse to the social theory of Gabriel Tarde, with its focus on social inventions and social practices of imitation, social innovation can be identified as a specific mechanism of change, and hence the analytical perspective can be directed towards society as a locus of innovation. This provides valuable input for an integrative theory of innovation, and for the analysis and shaping of social transformation processes.

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Howaldt, J./Kopp, R./Schwarz, M. (2015): On the theory of social innovations: Tarde's neglected contribution to the development of a sociological innovation theory.

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