‘Scaling Up’ the Social Impact of Innovation in Services – Significant Findings and Best Practice Examples from Specialty Research
„Social innovation” have gained the focus of interest of many researchers and professionals preoccupied to find solutions to heavy societal problems manifesting themselves as challenges or obstacles for public organizations in the field of services of general interest.
The present article explores the specialty research on the impact of social innovation concentrating on the most recent trends and concepts that better describe the ways that can lead to the „diffusion” of social innovation, particularly in the domain of services that are designed with the goal to ensure a higher quality life for all citizens. The main objective of our paper is to contribute to the conceptual field of innovation, by presenting a clear definition and by highlighting the newest trends in research. We also tried to identify what are the possible strategies to be applied by stakeholders in order to ensure the process of scaling up, bringing examples that prove the relevance of this concept in the field of public services.
In light of recent developments in the field of social innovation, we consider that both research and practice related to „scaling up” need further evolution and more efforts in order to become solid points of reference for all interested parties. At the same time, the development of rigorous systems of evaluation of the effects and impact of innovation is strongly needed.
The methods used are mainly qualitative, based on the evaluation of the specialty literature on innovation in services, and comparative, applied to highlight similarities and differences between various cases of innovation in the social sector that may be transferred in the public sector.
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