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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Naiara Altuna, Claudio Dell’Era, Paolo Landoni and Roberto Verganti

The importance and complexity of proposing radically new meanings are well-established in the literature. However, a limited number of contributions have analyzed how they…

Abstract

Purpose

The importance and complexity of proposing radically new meanings are well-established in the literature. However, a limited number of contributions have analyzed how they can be developed. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the development of radically new meanings at the basis of the Slow Food movement to contribute to the topic.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to better understand how social movements can propose radically new meanings and how companies can take inspiration and build a competitive advantage by leveraging the proposed meanings, the authors deeply analyzed the genealogy of Slow Food, interpreted as an inspiring case study; the authors adopt a narrative approach.

Findings

The analysis of how Slow Food emerged and evolved into an international movement reveals an alternative way to develop innovative meanings in collaboration with groups of radicals. The authors identify three main phases in the evolution of innovative meanings: generation, institutionalization and development.

Practical implications

In terms of managerial implications the authors contribute highlighting the importance of a new type of collaborative innovation: the collaboration with radical circles and social movements in their early stage.

Social implications

From a societal point of view, if the authors acknowledge the importance of social movements in contesting and actively changing institutions, the authors can see the importance for policy makers to create loci and opportunities for the emergence of radical circles and their experimentations.

Originality/value

The authors propose that new meanings are frequently the result of small groups of individuals gathering in radical circles. The core attribute of such circles is group validation. The group supports the Slow Food leader in refining the meaning and confronting the dominant paradigm.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2015

Naiara Altuna, Anna Maria Contri, Claudio Dell'Era, Federico Frattini and Paolo Maccarrone

Social innovations are defined as innovative products or services motivated by the goal of meeting a social need, with the opportunity to create new social relationships…

Abstract

Purpose

Social innovations are defined as innovative products or services motivated by the goal of meeting a social need, with the opportunity to create new social relationships or collaborations. Although developing social innovations has been the primary concern of non-profit organizations so far, there are signs of an increasing involvement in this type of innovations of for-profit firms, in an attempt to accomplish their corporate social responsibility strategies. This notwithstanding, there is very limited knowledge on how for-profit organizations can develop a capability to manage social innovation projects. The purpose of this paper is to provide exploratory evidence to fill this gap.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents and discusses a case study of a firm that has been involved in social innovation for years. It is Intesa Sanpaolo, a for-profit organization that leads the Italian banking sector.

Findings

The case study points to the existence of three managerial antecedents of a superior ability in social innovation: integrating CSR in its business strategy with a strong commitment from the top management; separating the activities concerned with the development of social innovations from the rest of the organization, following to the structural ambidexterity model; applying the principles of open innovation to the development of social innovations, by involving in particular non-profit organizations as a source of ideas for new social innovation projects and leveraging them to enable adoption of the new products and services.

Originality/value

So far there is very limited knowledge on how for-profit organizations can develop a capability to manage social innovation projects. This paper provides exploratory evidence to fill this gap.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

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