The emergence of social innovation within the social economy: the case of social enterprises in England

Irurita, María Isabel (2019) The emergence of social innovation within the social economy: the case of social enterprises in England. PhD thesis, Middlesex University. [Thesis]

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Social enterprises (SEs), such as development trusts (DTs) in England, are contributing to solve some of the world´s most entrenched problems, recurring to innovative ideas and proposals that tend to outperform traditional forms of social intervention. This research seeks to unveil the ways in which such innovative ideas emerge, and to do so, it has borrowed theories from the mainstream innovation literature, from the emerging body of work on social innovation and from existing approaches to understand inter-organisational relationships and networks.

An analysis of the perceived meaning of the innovation concept among SE practitioners is provided in first place, to then move onto exploring the starting points, the drivers and the processes that lead to the generation and the subsequent implementation of innovative ideas or solutions. Closer examination of 12 cases of innovative social enterprises allows the identification of five non-exclusive sources from where innovative ideas and solutions emerge within the social economy, namely: an accurate understanding of needs, frustration, inspiration leading to replication, networks of different types and openness or serendipity. The findings included here can help others in the process of developing and implementing new solutions to social problems and they contribute to theory building efforts in the fields of social entrepreneurship and social innovation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research (CEEDR)
B. > Theses
Item ID: 26748
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2019 15:13
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2021 18:02

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