Social Innovation for Competitiveness, Organisational Performance and Human Excellence
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 consists of changing a firm’s organisational form, it’s management principles, practises, processes and the organisation of work in a way that is new to the firm and/or the industry, and results in leveraging the firms technological knowledge base and its performance in terms of innovation, productivity and competitiveness.
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 organising 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 realise social innovation at various levels such as teams, organisations, partnerships, institutions, and countries.EURAM '12 > Conference Theme
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