The Importance of Social Innovations in Business Idea Development

The Importance of Social Innovations in Business Idea Development

Petra Krejčí (Silesian University in Opava, Czech Republic)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2714-6.ch012

Abstract

The main goal of the chapter is to find out whether age, gender, education, or business experience is related to the creation of innovations in the enterprises. Social innovation is divided into six types of innovation. These six types of innovation are divided into pure and combined innovations. This innovation activity determines whether entrepreneurs are developing business ideas. Part of the study shows how entrepreneurs approach social innovation. The approach to innovation can also change over time with regard to manager competencies and the life cycle of a manager's career in enterprise. The pilot study is based on an analysis of 128 respondents' answers. 128 companies from all regions of the Czech Republic were selected for information collection. The study points to a link between business experience, age, gender, education, and managerial innovation activity.
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Introduction

Innovations are very important for most enterprises on the market. They can also be a strong competitive element. Innovations are also a way for enterprises to become visible on the market. As market saturation had grown in the past, the search for suitable specific elements was made. At first, enterprises competed in price and later in quality, and ultimately speed in response to customer requests (Veber, 2016). Innovations began to emerge strongly after World War II. In general, awareness of innovations came in the 1930s in the form of Schumpeter's term “new combinations” (Dvořák, 2006). According to Schumpeter, these innovations are divided into the production of new products, the introduction of new products, the penetration of new markets, the acquisition of new raw materials or semi-finished products and the management of a new organization (Dvořák, 2006).

The chapter focuses on innovation and social innovation and their position in enterprises. Innovations are described and divided in the background part of the chapter. Social innovation is selected from various types of innovation and their distribution is used in the main pivotal part of the chapter. Barriers, which are briefly described for different types of innovation, are also an inherent part of innovation. The background part is focused on the creation of social innovations and their connection with age, gender, education and business experience of enterprise managers. The research is based on data collection from 128 respondents. These respondents are managers of various enterprises. Research respondents divide their innovations into pure and combined, which are described in the background part of the chapter.

The main goal of the chapter is to find out whether age, gender, education or business experience is related to the creation of innovations in the enterprises. This goal is supported by a brief description of the innovation and social innovation. The following research questions were set up to meet the main goal:

  • Is there any significant connection between social innovation activity as a whole and business experience?

  • Is there any significant connection between social innovation activity as a whole and age?

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Background

By the middle of the last century, innovations were associated with the creation of a new product or service only. However, since the 1970s, innovation has been anything to do with, for example, the new look of the product currently on the market (Freeman, 1974; Porter, 1990). According to Drucker (1993), in connection with the fact that they are means that could mean increasing the value and contribution of something new.

One of the recognized and standardized definitions of innovations based on OECD documents is the Oslo Manual. This document divides innovation into technical and non-technical (Oslo Manual, 2005).

“Technical innovations are product and technological innovations consisting of the introduction of new products and technologies and substantial technical improvements to manufactured products and technologies used.” That definition applies to new products or new technologies that are introduced and marketed. This is also supported by Rogers’ definition (1998) “in general, innovation is only regarded to have occurred if it has been implemented or commercialised in some way.” In this context, they are in close contact with research and development carried out in the enterprise.

On the contrary, non-technical innovations are mainly organizational and business (managerial) innovations (eg implementation of advanced management methods (TQM, certification), the introduction of significant changes in the organizational structure, implementation of new or substantial changes in the strategic orientation of the company or company), social innovation. In general, innovation can take many forms.

Innovations can be technological, product, process, service, business, design-driven, social and responsible (Edwards-Schachter, 2018).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Product and enterprise-oriented innovations: Combined innovation whose added value is visible in the technology of production, quality, appearance or marketing activities of the product and at the same time contributes to the enterprise as a whole.

Enterprise innovations: A pure innovation whose added value contributes to the enterprise as a whole.

Employee and product-oriented innovations: Combined innovation whose added value contributes to a better life for employees in the enterprise and at the same time is visible in the technology of production, quality, appearance or marketing activities of the product.

Combined innovation: One innovation focusing on two or more areas in the enterprise.

Employee and enterprise innovations: Combined innovation whose added value contributes to a better life for employees in enterprise and at the same time contributes to the enterprise as a whole.

Pure innovation: Innovation focused on just one area in the enterprise.

Employee oriented innovations: A pure innovation whose added value contributes to a better life for employees in the enterprise.

Innovative proactivity as a whole: All the innovation activity of the manager within the whole enterprise he leads.

Product-oriented innovations: A pure innovation whose added value is visible in the technology of production, quality, appearance or marketing activities of the product.

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