The effects of catalytic innovation on the creation of social impact
Social innovation (SI) is increasingly being appraised to possess the potential to provide innovative interventions to confront complex and interdependent social problems in both developing and developed economies. SI has also been described as a complex phenomenon that combines two diverse concepts, i.e., social and innovation. Hence, several conceptualisations of SI have emerged in the literature, leading to ambiguity and lack of a robust strategy to create SI. Drawing on entrepreneurial orientation, top management support, and stakeholder engagement literature strands, this study conceptualises and examines the antecedents and consequences of disruptive innovation for social change. Pragmatism as a research paradigm provides philosophical support for the integration of otherwise distinct research methods, i.e., qualitative and quantitative methods, allowing for grounded theory method and a multistage multiple regression to be combined within this study. The study adopts a sequential mixed methods research (MMR) approach which includes, in the first phase, a grounded theory method to collect and analyse in-depth exploratory interview data from CEOs and top management executives of 20 social organisations in four countries, with the purpose of testing hypotheses between innovation management logics and creating social impact. In the second phase, the hypotheses are tested on a sample of 71 social organisations in 23 countries. This study finds that entrepreneurial orientation, management support, and stakeholder engagement are antecedents of catalytic innovation. The results reveal that location of headquarters, type, and size of social organisations play a significant role in the creation of social innovation. The findings also show that for-profit social organisations have better economic performance, while not-for-profit social organisations have better social performance. Lastly, the results reveal that greater social performance may lead to greater social impact, while focus on economic performance may reduce the level of social impact achieved by these organisations. Additionally, the study reveals challenges and risks that social organisations face when creating social innovation, and proposes a framework that may help mitigate these risks and challenges. The study offers a threefold contribution to social innovation literature, methodology, and implications for practitioners. The study advances the discourse of entrepreneurial orientation, top management support, and stakeholder engagement in the social innovation literature. The study also gives credence to claims justifying the applicability and compatibility of qualitative and quantitative methods within a study to provide robust and satisfactory answers to research questions. The results exemplify some of the advantages of MMR approach, that it is an appropriate research method in conceptualising antecedents of catalytic innovation. Lastly, the study provides recommendations to practitioners within the social organisation and social innovation space.
Advisor: Kirkwood, Jodyanne; Rose, Elizabeth; Zhang, Annie
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: Management
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Catalytic; innovation; social; organisation
Research Type: Thesis