Social innovation

Krlev, Gorgi; Dey, Pascal (2023). Social innovation In: List, R.A; Anheier, H.K.; Toepler, S (eds.) International Encyclopedia of Civil Society (pp. 1-9). Springer 10.1007/978-3-319-99675-2_9569-1

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In lieu of an abstract, here a brief snippet from the introduction: Few concepts in the civil society sector have caught on as quickly as has social innovation (Anheier et al., 2019; Mouleart, 2005; Nicholls & Murdock, 2010). Social innovation research has been characterized by a flurry of conceptual definitions and theoretical considerations (Oosterlynck, 2013). While the lack of consensus about the meaning of social innovation is considered by some as indicative of the field’s lack of integration, construct clarity and programmatic unity (van der Have & Rubalcaba, 2016), others (ourselves included) see this situation as testifying to the vitality of a field under construction. Thus, while scholarship on social innovation is informed by vastly different intellectual traditions and definitional debates, it is commonly agreed that social innovation is crucially about using innovative approaches that introduce new combinations, practices, products, and services, etc. to create beneficial outcomes and impacts for society and the environment. Reflective of this perspective is the European Commission (2013, p. 6) guide to social innovation which states that “social innovation can be defined as the development and implementation of new ideas (products, services and models) to meet social needs and create new social relationships or collaborations”. By a similar token, Pol and Ville (2009) purport that social innovation includes any innovative idea that has the potential to improve the quality of life. These tentative definitions are indicative of much of the existing scholarship which conceives of social innovation as an innovative response to grand challenges which, due to their inherent complexity, defy easy solutions and quick fixes (Chalmers, 2021). ...

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


Business School > Institute for Innovation and Strategic Entrepreneurship > Low-end Innovation
Business School


Krlev, Gorgi;
Dey, Pascal0000-0003-2792-0061;
List, R.A;
Anheier, H.K. and
Toepler, S


H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)








Pascal Dey

Date Deposited:

10 Jan 2023 15:54

Last Modified:

29 Sep 2023 09:15

Publisher DOI:


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