Social Innovation for Competitiveness, Organizational Performance and Human Excellence
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Innovation is considered to be the primary driving force of progress and prosperity. Consequently, much effort is put in developing new technical knowledge, new process technologies and products. However, evidence from both large firms and SMEs shows that successful innovation is not just the result of technological inventions, but is also heavily dependent on what has been called “social innovation”. Several studies have pointed to the relevance of non-technological determinants of innovation, such as new management practices, new business models or new managerial capabilities. Moreover, many studies have provided empirical evidence about the relatively low explanatory power of R&D spending in comparison to other variables. Unfortunately, most management scholars are too silent in this debate, while they have much to offer to the innovation debate. Many Western economies nowadays have an excellent record in knowledge creation, but a mediocre record in innovation activity, which is defined as the successful transfer and application of knowledge in new products and services. Social innovation is defined as changing a firm‟s organization, management and labour in a way that is new to the organization and/or the industry, with the effect of leveraging the firm‟s technological knowledge base and improving organizational performance.
The aim of EURAM 2012 Conference is to discuss the various ways in which social innovation and its leverage of technological innovation can be enhanced within a firm; between firms through open innovation networks; and during interaction with institutional stakeholders, as well as through overall better measurement and monitoring. In comparison to technological innovations, social innovations in terms of outstanding managerial capabilities, management practices and organizing principles of innovation are more difficult to assess and quantify. However, fundamental understanding of social innovation and its influence on technological innovation, will increase productivity, firm competitiveness and quality of work of future generations. We invite EURAM participants to reach new understandings of social innovation and to gain new insights into the tensions felt to realize social innovation at various levels such as teams, organizations, partnerships, institutions, and countries.
Over the past 40 years, the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University has firmly established its reputation as one of Europe‟s leading business schools. Long before „global‟ became an important descriptor for business education, RSM‟s students, faculty and staff were already reflecting the diversity of the globalizing world. Just like our host country, one of the world‟s renowned international trading nations, RSM has continued to expand and internationalize, cementing its status as one of Europe‟s most international and innovative business schools.
Within easy reach of the continent‟s largest markets and with its unique access to continental Europe via the Maas River – the largest commercial port in Europe – Rotterdam has been a hub of international trade and commerce for centuries. This heritage of trade has left its legacy – Rotterdam today is a multicultural city that is home to a host of multinational and local enterprises, and with a growing reputation as an international knowledge centre.
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