Implementation of a Social Innovation Model for Economic Value Creation

Implementation of a Social Innovation Model for Economic Value Creation

Edgar Muñiz Avila (Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico), Lucia Rodríguez-Aceves (Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico) and Mario Adrián Flores-Castro (Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8182-6.ch018
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This chapter reviews and discusses the multidimensionality of social innovation literature and relates it to some aspects of economic value creation. Moreover, it proposes a model for micro-businesses creation as a solution to reduce asset poverty. The model, characterized as a social innovation, was adapted to an academic program at the Tecnológico de Monterrey, which is one of the largest private universities in Mexico. The results of the pilot implementation clearly showed a positive impact in the increase in sales, job creation, and –consequently– the creation of economic value. Finally, the chapter highlights social innovation as an important input for governmental economic plans because the development level of a country is more important than its economic growth.
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Social Innovation

Theoretical Background

As in other fields like Knowledge management, Social innovation has grown up as a field of practice with a relatively little attention to theory. Over the last two centuries, innumerable social innovations have emerged. They include the invention and spread of trade unions and cooperatives, the spread of collective insurance against sickness and poverty, the spread of new models of the university in the 19th century, the spread of the kindergarten, among many others (Mulgan, Tucker, Ali & Sanders, 2007). Actors behind such social innovations have changed in history. During some periods, civil society provided the impetus driving the mutual self-help and microcredits in the 19th century. In some others, social movements took the lead, as was the case of the antislavery movement in late 18th century. Governments also have been main characters, for example in 1945 when democratic governments built welfare states and schooling systems. It is hard to think in any field in which social innovation has not played an important role (Mulgan, et. al, 2007).

Academic literature on social innovation goes back to Max Weber (1922) and the concept of social action, as well as the analysis of action systems based on it by Talcott Parsons (1951). In 1934, Joseph Schumpeter created another theoretical landmark by establishing the fundamental role of innovation and structural change in the organization of society and the role of the entrepreneur as a driver of development. The social innovation concept currently draws from four theoretical sources: innovation, social investment, change and open society (European Commission, 2011). The literature related to innovation, which comes from management studies, stresses the social processes in which innovation has to be embedded. The literature on social investment and social capital brings to the fore the relationship between social innovation and economic growth (Heckman & Navarro-Lozano, 2004). The literature on change helps to confront the theories on how change occurs, and peer-to-peer and open-society literature drawn from IT open source systems are forging new business and community value models.

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