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The challenge and risks of innovation in social entrepreneurship uel april 2011


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The challenge and risks of innovation in social entrepreneurship uel april 2011

  1. 1. The challenge and risks of innovation in social entrepreneurship<br />Fr Timothy Curtis<br />School of Health, The University of Northampton<br />
  2. 2. Innovation is key for social enterprises. <br />social enterprise is an “inherently innovative business model.” Social Enterprise Coalition<br /> “…not to innovate is to die” according to Christopher Freeman (1997)<br />a sense in which innovation can be achieved, purchased, or implemented by leadership will power (Trott 2002)<br />Marx – fetishism-special powers are attributed to the [traded] objects and their relationships, to the extent that people believe and act as though those powers are the natural, inherent characteristic of the traded objects and theorize about them in that way.<br />
  3. 3. Objective<br />Innovation brings change and risk<br />in conflict with public service principles of consistency, or equity, and accountability<br />how can a social enterprise be innovative without harming these principles? <br />
  4. 4. structure<br />how is innovation conceptualised?<br />developing a sense of the ethical issues and challenges of innovation<br />issues of implementing innovation<br />systems skills required to analyse a situation are introduced<br />
  5. 5. Innovators: Mavericks and Deviants<br />(Taylor and Labarre 2006)<br />(Vries 1977)<br />
  6. 6. How is innovation conceptualised<br />...the introduction of a new thing or method... (Fagerberg 2004) or<br />a personal skill, but one that is exercised within an organisational context... (De Bono 1968; Henry 2001) <br />In contexts which may be suspicious of risk, or actively avoid harm?<br />
  7. 7. The challenge of freedom versus governance<br />Governance Grid<br />Innovation in ‘free’ but limited<br />spaces in the governance grid<br />(Trott 2002) <br />
  8. 8. Legal forms do not guarantee your ethical stance when being innovative<br />We don't hire people to bake brownies; we bake brownies to hire people”. Greyston Bakery<br />“The bakery will automate its production whenever such changes are fiscally appropriate.” <br />Can you see the conflict?<br />
  9. 9. ‘theory of social change’<br />underlying assumption is that being employed is a good way out of social exclusion for the people of Southwest Yonkers, New York, where Greystonoperate. <br />Another social enterprise might think that being educated is the most important issue <br />another might think that being able to travel to where the jobs are is more equitable, and thereby implement a transport scheme<br />
  10. 10. Organisational choice<br />Driven by sectoral isomorphism & legitimation<br />Public funding-, CLG, CIC(CLG), charitable status<br />Lifestyle entrepreneur- CLG, CLS, co-op<br />Private sector- CLG (‘non-profit’), CIC(CLS)<br />Italy- Type A and Type B co-operativo<br />These legal forms close down debate about the internal & external ethics of the social enterprise<br />
  11. 11. When innovation runs away with itself<br />Represent the problem- moralism<br />Impoverishing the problem<br />Imposing analysis on a problem<br />Using technical terms to cover lack of understanding<br />Projectising a problem<br />Represent the situation- context<br />Enrich the problem with rich pictures<br />Allowing the solution to arise from those who have the problem<br />Use the terms expressed by those with the problem<br />Never allow a problem to be fenced in<br />
  12. 12. Four taming strategies to be avoided <br />1. Lock down the problem definition. Develop a description of a related problem that you can solve, and declare that to be the problem. Specify objective parameters by which to measure the solution’s success.<br />2. Cast the problem as ‘just like’ a previous problem that has been solved. Ignore or filter out evidence that complicates the picture.<br />3. Give up on trying to find a good solution. Just follow orders, do your job and try not to get in trouble. <br />4. Declare that there are just a few possible solutions, and focus on selecting from among them. A specific way to do this is to frame the problem in ‘either/or’ terms<br />(from Conklin 2005)<br />
  13. 13. Keeping it wicked<br />Don’t assume that your organisational form or your marketplace will automatically ‘enshrine’ your ethics in the turmoil of innovation<br />How you frame the problem determines the outcome (and others may disagree with your framing)<br />Taming problems leads to a tame outcome<br />
  14. 14. When being innovative<br />must start with the ethics of framing the social problem<br />Frame the social issue in a collaborative, and enriching, manner <br />Enrich your conceptualisation of the problem through collaborative diagramming techniques (rich pictures)<br />Be clear about your choice of the ‘theory of social change’<br />
  15. 15. Soften your thinking<br />
  16. 16. (en)rich your picture of the (softened) system of interest<br />(Checkland 1981). <br />
  17. 17. References in the book!!<br />