What makes social innovation more innovative?

Gök, Abdullah and Kruse, Philipp (2023) What makes social innovation more innovative? Other. SSRN, Rochester, NY. (https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4561144)

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Social Innovation (SI) has been gaining significant scholarly, policymaker, and practitioner traction. While the extensive literature on SI almost entirely focuses on the social aspects of SI, there is a lack of understanding of the innovativeness aspect. Our research examines factors influencing the innovativeness of SI-projects, thereby, theoretically deriving three main clusters: (i) SI-orientations of the projects, (ii) the scale and scope of the challenge(s) addressed in the SI-projects, and (iii) contextual characteristics. Our results, utilising a regression analysis of 6,138 SI- projects from the European Social Innovation Database, indicate that innovativeness of SI is positively associated with SI orientations of projects, the scale of the challenges they tackle, and supportive policy and social contexts. We contribute to SI theory by shedding light the thus far neglected innovativeness aspect of SI. Our study also provides policy and practice implications.