1 March 2007

Call for papers: Social innovation

Call for papers: Social innovation
A special issue of International Journal of Technology Management

In the face of increasing pressure to change and adapt to the need of highly competitive business markets, it is not unusual for management to focus on technical innovations and to downplay the social processes and effects that these developments can have on individuals and groups in work and society. This special issue draws attention to the growing interest in social innovations that improve the well being of people, communities and society as a whole.

Our interest remains within the areas covered by innovation, social change, technology and organisational development. In examining what we mean by social innovation in these contexts, we can consider issues such as: how initiatives in technology change and organisational development may bring about unanticipated social benefits and outcomes; how advanced technologies may be purposively used to secure social improvements; and how commercially driven innovations may also need to address social problems and impediments to their achievement.

The use of technology in developing countries; the social shaping of technology and change at work; the management of the processes of innovation in organisations; and the way that innovation management may develop new ways of organising to support the delivery of services in less privileged or more remote communities, are all areas of potential interest.

In a manifesto for social innovation the Young Foundation note that it is surprising how 'little is known about social innovation compared to the vast amount of research into innovation in business and science'. Yet innovations that bring about significant change are necessarily composed of social and technical dimensions, they are not devoid of social processes in the creation of new ideas and their implementation and broader diffusion.

Spotlighting these social processes and their place in technological and organisational change as well as the intentions and agendas behind these developments, all help us to better understand this concept of social innovation. As Josephine Green states 'if you only concentrate on technology research then you invariably get technology innovation, but if you also research the social and the cultural, then you get social innovation. Technology and social innovation promises a more balanced quality of life and a more inspiring future'.

In examining social innovations in the context of technology change, management and organisation development, submissions are encouraged that examine various aspects associated with social innovations at work, the development of new concepts, strategies and tools that support individuals and groups. These would include, but are not limited to, social innovations around processes of:
  • Organisational development
  • Technical change
  • Human resource management
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Creative environments
  • Knowledge and learning
  • Technology implementation and use in developing countries
  • Innovations in rural and remote health service provision
  • Workplace simulation and the redesign of work processes

In short, submissions should take account of the social and human aspects of innovation and not just focus on economic and technical parameters. Theoretical papers may wish to consider the concept of social innovation, organisation development and technology change or for example, how social innovation might relate to the development of novel approaches for improving our lived experience of work and community life.

Important Dates

Abstracts due: 31 July 2007
Notification of eligibility for paper submission: 31 August 2007
Full paper due: 31 October 2007
Notification of acceptance: 31 December 2007

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