Social Innovation: A Theoretical Approach in Intertwining Climate Change with Social Innovation

Social Innovation: A Theoretical Approach in Intertwining Climate Change with Social Innovation

Sayan Banerjee (Chandragupt Institute of Management Patna, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8814-8.ch029


In this paper an attempt has been made to link the understanding relating to innovation in organisations with that of societal innovation at large which was later on extended to summarise the literature of social innovation and climate change. The organisation forms part of (and exists in) the social system. From the view point of organisational studies the social system may be seen as consisting of two levels while the immediate vicinity of the organisation encompasses the various organisational stakeholders and correlates the second level pertains to society in general. According to Savvides (1979), the second level encompasses the first which in turn encompasses the organisation. In this paper a comprehensive review has been presented for a better understanding of social innovation its correlation with climate change through the concepts used to understand organisational innovation.
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Social Change and Innovation

Changes in the structure and functioning of either level, but especially in level one constitute social change. (Rogers 1969) defined social change as “the process by which alteration occurs in the structure and function of a social system”. Social changes may create performance gaps as in, International Sector, Education Sector, Competitors, Suppliers Customers Unions, Technology Govt, Agencies, which can collectively affect the Organisation Society in general thereby orchestrating changes in the immediate external environment of the Organisation (Savvides, 1979).

Performance gaps are discrepancies between what the society could do by virtue of a goal-related opportunity in its environment and what it actually does in terms of exploiting that opportunity. The performance gap may be characterised by resources not getting fully exploited brought about by changes among the patterns of consumption, or by loss of previous opportunities because of new competition, or by any other change in the environment. A performance gap may also come about by changes within the society, such as when a key societal player leaves the societal mileu.

Innovation in society is mostly administrative in nature.This essay examines first how effective innovation is basically a effective synergy of both organisation and society in general involving stakeholders from both organisations and society at large and later addresses the complex aspect of climate change for a better understanding of the role of various stakeholders as per Savvides(1979). A thorough review of the literature is undertaken and an evaluation of the state of the art is made, the issue then becomes, if it is not possible or practical to change the functioning of the organisation to accommodate change as situations warrant it as per the alternatives opened to society at large and how can it be provided that the conditions for facilitating innovation in the society are adequately catered for (Savvides, 1979).It is from this perspective that the author has tried to understand the various endeavours relating to social innovation in different areas namely climate change, agriculture and inequality.

In every instance the author has tried to substantiate the importance of different stakeholders as per Savvides (1979) in implementing optimal grass root social innovation.

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