Orchestration networks for social innovation

Stream #21

Chairs: Benedetto Cannatelli (Università Cattolica), Alessandro Giudici (Cass Business School – City University Of London)

Scaling social impact is rarely a process triggered by stand-alone organizations but requires the interplay of a multiplicity of actors operating at different levels in the economic, social and political environment. For example, it is often the case that private and public institutions need to join their efforts on promoting social innovation to tackle longstanding social issues and inequalities. A crucial role is played by intermediary organizations – e.g. incubators, accelerators, government agencies, venture associations, research centers, etc. – that enhance the potential for value creation of multi-stakeholder networks by orchestrating how they work together when searching for suitable solutions to wicked problems. 

Prior research documents several examples of intermediary organizations and broadly suggests that, when focusing on commercial innovation, they tend to engage in two main types of activities: the creation of market infrastructures (bridging) and the development of business capabilities (buffering). Yet, there remains a paucity of research on how the actual processes, resources, and capabilities that would be required to support more socially oriented innovation. While several fragmented insights exist in academic streams like entrepreneurship, institutionalism, and innovation in emerging economies, many questions remain unanswered and we believe it is time to start bringing the conversation together. 

For this reason, we invite contributions to this stream on the following (non-exhaustive) topics related to the broader theme of orchestrating networks for social innovation:

  1. Capabilities, skills, and key resources for orchestrating social innovation:
  • Key resources to keep the pace of innovation
  • Strategies to develop nonreplicable resources 
  • Skills and capacities needed for technological transfer in non-munificent environments
  1. Micro, meso, macro institutional levels:
  • Influencing members’ emotions towards sustainable performance
  • Leveraging institutional environments and/or creating new institutions to operate in developing countries
  • The interplay between micro, meso, macro institutional levels in hindering/supporting the implementation of social innovation 
  1. Intermediaries and ecosystem:
  • Strategies to build socially sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems
  • How organizations shape and are shaped by socially sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems
  • Enabling members to expand and strengthen socially sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems 
  1. Challenges in orchestrating social innovation
  • Institutional barriers faced by intermediary organizations
  • Financial sustainability of intermediary organizations 
  • Legitimacy threshold for intermediary organizations and legitimacy transfer to member organizations
  1. Categories and interactions between intermediaries
  • What strategies can be effective when multiple intermediary organizations collaborate? 
  • Challenges in competition among intermediary organizations 
  • Public intermediary organizations Vs private intermediary organizations: effectiveness and financial sustainability