Social Innovations and the Advancement of the General Concept of Innovation

The core feature of this article is to introduce the specific concept of social innovation

Section: Management including Cross-Project Activities


Starting from a general assessment of the relevance of innovations in social change, the core feature of this article is to introduce the specific concept of social innovation. Accompanied by the current economic crises and the broad acknowledgement of the so-called ‘Grand Challenges’, the concept of innovations devoted to the provision of social value has recently become a hot topic in politics, science and a relatively broad public. Social innovations are new practices for resolving societal challenges, adopted and utilized by the social groups concerned. The creation and implementation of social innovations require processes with a number of stages and cyclical learning. The readiness to change is usually neither a property inherent in social milieus, social systems and cultures in business and public administrations, nor in society as a whole. Knowledge, attitudes and opinions are not single levers for modifying behaviour. The key concern here is to comprehend knowledge as capacity for social action, and thus to focus research and social practices on how to transform the knowledge available into action.


Published in:

Carmen Ruiz Viñals and Carmen Parra Rodriguez, eds., 2013, Social Innovation: New Forms of Organisation in Knowledge-Based Societies; Oxford: Routledge (pp. 12-28)

ISBN 978-0-415-64014-5

Authors: Hochgerner (external Senior Strategic Advisor), J.

Category: Book Contributions

Publication Date: 2013

Price: Hardback: £75

Procurement: Bookshops only