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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1990

Yitzchak Berman

Information systems have been heralded as indispensible tools for enhancing the performance of human services and producing positive outcomes for people (Poertner and…

Abstract

Information systems have been heralded as indispensible tools for enhancing the performance of human services and producing positive outcomes for people (Poertner and Rapp, 1988). Such systems can play an important role in the processes of formulating social policy, planning, and programming. This role includes the identification of social issues and their formulation, goal clarification, the identification of priorities and alternatives in these processes, and in social monitoring and evaluation (Berman, 1985). In contradistinction to the political aspect of decision‐making, information systems aid in bringing about rationalization of the decision‐making process in the public policy sphere (Welrich, 1985). The effective use of information systems, however, is dependent upon the accessibility of the system to the decision‐maker during the decision‐making process. The place of the decision‐maker in the administrative structure determines the type of information he needs and its mode of application. The value of the information system in decision‐making is contingent upon the relevance of the information in content and in being available at the right time.

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International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 10 no. 4/5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Book part
Publication date: 3 December 2005

Harry F. Dahms

For sociological perspectives on globalization to do justice to its many facets, they must be informed by an understanding of modern societies as simultaneously complex…

Abstract

For sociological perspectives on globalization to do justice to its many facets, they must be informed by an understanding of modern societies as simultaneously complex, contingent, and contradictory – as modern capitalist societies. As is becoming ever more apparent, such an understanding of modern societies is the necessary precondition for identifying the defining features of globalization. Yet, for the most part, the history of the social sciences did not produce research agendas, theories, and methods designed to grasp complexity, contingency, and contradiction as core dimensions of modern social life that continually reinforce each other. The social sciences did not evolve as ongoing efforts to grasp the gravity each dimension exerts on concrete forms of political, economic and cultural life, and how the force of each depends on the constant exchange of energy with the other two. To the extent that scrutinizing the impact of globalization on the future – and possible futures – of human civilization is the primary challenge for social scientists to confront today, the current condition presents a unique, and perhaps most unusual opportunity to conceive anew the promise of each and all the social sciences, as elucidating how the complex, contingent, and contradictory nature of modern societies, in the name of advancing social justice, has engendered a regime of managing “social problems.”

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Social Theory as Politics in Knowledge
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-363-1

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Book part
Publication date: 29 January 2021

Grete Brochmann

Immigration represents one of the most contentious and complicated issues for social democracy in many national contexts. In Scandinavia, the social democratic parties…

Abstract

Immigration represents one of the most contentious and complicated issues for social democracy in many national contexts. In Scandinavia, the social democratic parties have been particularly tormented, being split internally on central concerns related to immigration policy. Social democratic parties in Scandinavia have had a basically ambiguous relationship to the issue from the initiation of the era of ‘new immigration’. This chapter argues that this can be explained by the specifically strong attachment and ‘ownership’ of these parties to the Scandinavian welfare model, with its particular claims on a strong tax base and an orderly labour market. ‘Social democracy’ is dealt with mainly as an institutional and political entity, close to what goes as ‘The Nordic Model’ in the international literature. The chapter describes and analyses similarities and differences between the three Scandinavian countries, through a historical exposé of the period after the early 1970s; on the one hand, the institutional and normative prerequisites for social democracies in handling migration, and on the other hand, the way in which recent flows of migrants have influenced the very same social democracies. Theoretically, the chapter is drawing on conceptual tools from political economy, citizenship discourse and institutional theory.

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Social Democracy in the 21st Century
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-953-3

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Book part
Publication date: 20 May 2011

Harry F. Dahms

For perspectives on globalization to do justice to its many facets, they must be informed by an understanding of modern societies as simultaneously complex, contingent…

Abstract

For perspectives on globalization to do justice to its many facets, they must be informed by an understanding of modern societies as simultaneously complex, contingent, and contradictory – as modern capitalist societies. As is becoming ever more apparent, such an understanding of modern societies is the necessary precondition for identifying the defining features of globalization. Yet, for the most part, the history of the social sciences did not produce research agendas, theories, and methods designed to grasp complexity, contingency, and contradiction as core dimensions of modern social life that continually reinforce each other. The social sciences did not evolve as ongoing efforts to grasp the gravity each dimension exerts on concrete forms of political, economic, and cultural life, and how the force of each depends on the constant exchange of energy with the other two. To the extent that scrutinizing the impact of globalization on the future – find possible futures – of human civilization is the primary challenge for social scientists to confront today, the current condition presents a unique, and perhaps most unusual opportunity to conceive anew the promise of each and all the social sciences, as elucidating how the complex, contingent, and contradictory nature of modern societies, in the name of advancing social justice, has engendered a regime of managing “social problems.”

Details

The Vitality Of Critical Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-798-8

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Book part
Publication date: 9 December 2016

Ioannis N. Katsikis and Lida P. Kyrgidou

In this conceptual chapter we examine the impact of the institutional role of public social policy as opposed to the individual role of private social entrepreneurship on…

Abstract

Purpose

In this conceptual chapter we examine the impact of the institutional role of public social policy as opposed to the individual role of private social entrepreneurship on the process of social change and value creation.

Methodology/approach

We review the above fields in order to identify their common and distinctive characteristics. We also examine how each contributes to social value creation and in which way these two sources of social value creation can interact in order to maximize their positive impact.

Findings

The value of our work relies on the development analysis reveals that the intersection between social policy and social entrepreneurship constitutes one of the possible responses to the growing uncertainty in the global economy and society. In a conceptual level, the findings of our theoretical inquiry allow us to provide a framework for better understanding the nature and the possible implications of social entrepreneurial/policy activities that allows the appropriate selection of the proper actions to be made for theorists, practitioners, and policy-makers alike.

Originality/value

Our work contributes to existing literature by providing views on understanding how the different forms of organizational actions (public policy vs. social entrepreneurship) act toward social value creation; and by contributing to the understanding of their similarities and differences and the distinctive frameworks within which they unfold.

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Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-068-8

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 14 December 2017

David Pettinicchio

Given the growing interest in social movements as policy agenda setters, this paper investigates the contexts within which movement groups and actors work with political…

Abstract

Given the growing interest in social movements as policy agenda setters, this paper investigates the contexts within which movement groups and actors work with political elites to promote their common goals for policy change. In asking how and why so-called outsiders gain access to elites and to the policymaking process, I address several contemporary theoretical and empirical concerns associated with policy change as a social movement goal. I examine the claim that movements use a multipronged, long-term strategy by working with and targeting policymakers and political institutions on the one hand, while shaping public preferences – hearts and minds – on the other; that these efforts are not mutually exclusive. In addition, I look at how social movement organizations and actors are critical in expanding issue conflict outside narrow policy networks, often encouraged to do so by political elites with similar policy objectives. And, I discuss actors’ mobility in transitioning from institutional activists to movement and organizational leaders, and even to protesters, and vice versa. The interchangeability of roles among actors promoting social change in strategic action fields points to the porous and fluid boundaries between state and nonstate actors and organizations.

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On the Cross Road of Polity, Political Elites and Mobilization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-480-8

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 3 February 2021

Benedetta De Pieri and Simon Teasdale

This paper aims to unpack the sets of policy ideas underpinning the use of social innovation, thus permeating the allegedly politically neutral language of the concept.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to unpack the sets of policy ideas underpinning the use of social innovation, thus permeating the allegedly politically neutral language of the concept.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on Daigneualt (2014), this paper adapts a four-dimensional approach to investigate the sets of ideas underpinning different conceptualisations of social innovation, particularly in relation to who the actors driving social change are, the nature of the problems addressed, the objectives pursued and the means used to achieve these objectives.

Findings

Applying the four-dimensional approach to a corpus of literature, this paper found evidence of two different perspectives along each dimension, namely, a radical empowerment approach and an incremental market-oriented one.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of the study is the focus on academic literature, whereas a broader focus on policy discourse may give further insights. However, this paper argues that this study can be the ground for future research to investigate whether and how the two approaches identified have been adopted in different institutional and policy contexts.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the development of social innovation research by boosting and encouraging further investigation on how different sets of ideas underpin social innovation discourse and its use as a policy concept.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 21 April 2020

Rob Vluggen, Relus Kuijpers, Janjaap Semeijn and Cees J. Gelderman

Social return on investment (SROI) is a systematic way of incorporating social values of different stakeholders into public sector decision-making on sustainability. This…

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Abstract

Purpose

Social return on investment (SROI) is a systematic way of incorporating social values of different stakeholders into public sector decision-making on sustainability. This study aims to identify salient factors that influence SROI implementation.

Design/methodology/approach

The interactions of four Dutch municipalities and their social enterprises were examined, by analyzing relevant documents and interviewing key actors.

Findings

External forces appear to have little influence on SROI implementation. Management systems, legal restrictions in relation to privacy and the administrative burden appear to hinder SROI implementation. Findings suggest that trust among the parties involved and their representatives is a major driver for SROI development. SROI is not measured well enough, which complicates analyzing and reporting its development.

Research limitations/implications

Achieving collaboration through trust is a characteristic of stewardship theory, and therefore useful for studying social sustainability. Combining agency and stewardship theory provides useful insights concerning the application of control mechanisms versus empowerment.

Practical implications

Barriers can be overcome by informing and engaging suppliers in SROI initiatives. Furthermore, findings of this study suggest that it is easier for municipalities to incorporate SROI when social firm activities are insourced. An independent procurement function stimulates SROI development. Engaged professionals can make the difference in SROI policy implementation, more so than written policies.

Social implications

SROI enables social sustainability. SROI can be used by public agencies to provide meaningful activities for the long-term unemployed and underprivileged adolescents.

Originality/value

The study is the first empirical work that relates public procurement to SROI implementation and its effect on suppliers. The findings provide valuable insights into government influence on social enterprises.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2019

Carlos Oliveira Santos

Since 2004, the British Government has delivered a national policy on social marketing that has created a new frame of reference in this field. This paper aims to study…

Abstract

Purpose

Since 2004, the British Government has delivered a national policy on social marketing that has created a new frame of reference in this field. This paper aims to study the genesis, evolution and implementation of the policy process that led to an important development in British public health.

Design/methodology/approach

An in-depth multifaceted single case study, mixing qualitative and quantitative data including participatory research, enabled by a cognitive approach based on elements of knowledge, ideas, representations and social beliefs in the elaboration of a public policy.

Findings

This approach to understanding the British policy on social marketing process demonstrates a useful explanatory capacity, producing a comprehensive articulation of the main cognitive, normative, and instrumental dimensions of this policy, including its significant mutations influenced by the 2008 Great Recession and subsequent political evolution.

Research limitations/implications

This paper has followed the British social marketing policy’s implementation in England. In Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, this national policy had specific developments that it was not followed in our study In general, subject to complex historical, social and political conditions, this is a field that preserves its dynamism and the ability to question concepts and processes. Ever seeking new directions and solutions, it requires an ongoing research study.

Practical implications

Conclusions speak in favour of a prescriptive framework for a national policy on social marketing that can inform other government entities’ efforts to develop similar policies in other countries. A correct understanding of such a political process can lead to better management of its development and its consequent contribution to improving social marketing policy and interventions.

Social implications

A proper conception and management of a social marketing policy can contribute to improving the well-being of citizens.

Originality/value

It is the first time that this specific cognitive approach has been applied so systematically to a national social marketing policy through a long-term research, providing a prescriptive framework for other’ efforts to develop similar policies.

Details

Journal of Social Marketing, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6763

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1988

David Macarov

The author argues that we must stop and take a look at what our insistence on human labour as the basis of our society is doing to us, and begin to search for possible…

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1317

Abstract

The author argues that we must stop and take a look at what our insistence on human labour as the basis of our society is doing to us, and begin to search for possible alternatives. We need the vision and the courage to aim for the highest level of technology attainable for the widest possible use in both industry and services. We need financial arrangements that will encourage people to invent themselves out of work. Our goal, the article argues, must be the reduction of human labour to the greatest extent possible, to free people for more enjoyable, creative, human activities.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 8 no. 2/3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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