Editorial Synthesis: Methodological Challenges in Social Innovation Research

Julia Wittmayer, Bonno Pel, Tom Bauler, Flor Avelino

Abstract


In recent years, there have been substantial efforts towards theory-building and conceptual clarification in social innovation (SI) research further contributing to its consolidation as a research field. Taking a different angle, this special issue aims to contribute to such consolidation by introducing greater reflexivity about the underlying methodologies and logics of inquiry. It features eight contributions from the main methodological orientations in SI research, namely systematic knowledge development and action-oriented research that discuss particular methodological challenges and advances. This editorial synthesis serves to take stock and elicit their broader significance for SI research along the normative, temporal and comparative dimensions of methodology choices. Dimensions, which are salient to SI research without being tied to any specific methodological tradition. As such, they reflect our aim to transcend the methodological fragmentation of the SI research field and open up a methodological discussion through a methodologically pluralist stance.

Full Text:

PDF

References


Aiken, G.T. (2017). Social Innovation and Participatory Action Research: A way to research community? European Public and Social Innovation Review 2: 1.

Akrich, M., Callon, M., Latour, B., and Monaghan, A. (2002). The key to success in innovation part I: the art of interessement. International Journal of Innovation Management, 6(02), 187-206.

Arthur, L. (2013). Reflections on the form and content of Participatory Action Research and implications for social innovation research. In: Moulaert et al. (eds.), The International Handbook on Social Innovation: Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research ( pp. 332-340, Ch. 25). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing

Asdal, K. and Moser, I. (2012). Experiments in context and contexting. Science, Technology, & Human Values, 37(4), 291-306.

Ayob, N., Teasdale, S. and Fagan, K. (2016). How Social Innovation ‘Came to Be’: Tracing the Evolution of a Contested Concept. Journal of Social Policy, 45(4), 635-653. doi:10.1017/S004727941600009X

BEPA (Bureau of European Policy Advisors) (2010) Empowering people, driving change. Social Innovation in the European Union. Brussel: European Commission.

Biekart, K. (2017). Contributing to Civic Innovation through Participatory Action Research. European Public and Social Innovation Review 2: 1.

Blatter, J., and Haverland, M. (2012). Designing case studies: Explanatory approaches in small-N research. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Bouchard, M.J. and Trudelle, C. (2013). Exploring the conceptual universe of social innovation: A relational database for a better understanding of its effects on social transformation, (Paper presented at the international conference Social Frontiers : The next edge of social innovation research, at GCU's London Campus on 14th and 15th November 2013).

Cajaiba-Santana, G. (2014). Social innovation: Moving the field forward. A conceptual framework. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 82, 42-51.

Callorda Fossati, E., Degavre, F., and Nyssens, M. (2017). How to deal with an “essentially contested concept” on the field? Sampling social innovations through the Delphi method. European Public and Social Innovation Review

Dillon, J. and Wals, A. (2006).On the danger of blurring methods, methodologies and ideologies in environmental education research, Environmental Education Research, 12:3-4, 549-558

Edwards-Schachter, M. and Wallace, M.L. (2017). ‘Shaken, but not stirred’: Sixty years of defining social innovation. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 119, 64-79.

El-Haddadeh, R., Irani, Z., Millard, J. and Schröder, A. (2014). Toward a Coherent Methodological Framework for Examining Social Innovation in the Public Sector. Information Systems Management, 31(3), 250-258.

EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2013) Social innovation research in the European Union Approaches, findings and future directions. POLICY REVIEW. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

Flyvbjerg, B. (2006). Five misunderstandings about case-study research. Qualitative inquiry, 12(2). 219-245.

Franz, H. W., Hochgerner, J., and Howaldt, J. (2012). Challenge social innovation: An introduction. In Challenge Social Innovation (pp. 1-16). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer

Garud, R., and Gehman, J. (2012). Metatheoretical perspectives on sustainability journeys: Evolutionary, relational and durational. Research Policy 41(6). 980-995.

Godin, B., and Vinck, D. (2017). Critical Studies of Innovation: Alternative Approaches to the Pro-Innovation Bias. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar

Haraway, D. (1988). 'Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective', Feminist Studies 14(3). 575-599.

Haxeltine, A., Pel, B., Wittmayer, J., Avelino, A., Dumitru, A. and Kemp, R. (2017). Building a middle-range theory of Transformative Social Innovation; theoretical pitfalls and methodological responses. European Public and Social Innovation Review 2: 1.

Hirsch Hadorn, G., Hoffmann-Riem, H., Bieber-Klemm, S., Grossenbacher-Mansuy, W., Joye, D., Pohl, C., Wiesmann, U. and Zemp, E. (2008). Handbook of Transdisciplinary Research. Dordrecht: Springer.

Howaldt, J., Kopp, R., and Schwarz, M. (2015) On the theory of social innovations: Tarde's neglected contribution to the development of a sociological innovation theory. Weinheim : Beltz Juventa, 2015. URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-41963

Jessop, B., Moulaert, F., Hulgård, L. and Hamdouch, A. (2013). Social innovation research: a new stage in innovation research? In: Moulaert, F. et al. (eds.). The International Handbook on Social Innovation: Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research. (110-127) Cheltenham: Edward Elgar

Jungmann R., Baur, N. and Ametowobla, D. (2015). Grasping Processes of Innovation Empirically. A Call for Expanding the Methodological Toolkit. An Introduction. Historische Sozialforschung/ Historical Social Research (HSR). 7-29.

Kaletka, C. and Schröder, A. (2017). A Global Mapping of Social Innovations: Challenges of a Theory Driven Methodology. European Public and Social Innovation Review 2: 1.

Lang, D. J., Wiek, A., Bergmann, M., Stauffacher, M., Martens, P., Moll, P. and Thomas, C. J. (2012). Transdisciplinary research in sustainability science: practice, principles, and challenges. Sustainability science, 7(1), 25-43.

Larsson, O.S. and Brandsen, T. (2016). The Implicit Normative Assumptions of Social Innovation Research: Embracing the Dark Side. In: Brandsen et al. (eds), Social Innovations in the Urban Context. (pp. 293-302, Ch. 24). New York: Springer.

Law, J. (1992). Notes on the theory of the actor-network: Ordering, strategy, and heterogeneity. Systemic practice and action research. 5(4). 379-393.

Lévesque, B. (2013) Social innovation in governance and public management systems: towards a new paradigm? In: F. Moulaert (Ed.), The International Handbook on Social Innovation; Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2013.

Marques, P., Morgan, K., and Richardson, R. (2017). Social innovation in question: The theoretical and practical implications of a contested concept. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, 2399654417717986.

Martinelli, F., Moulaert, F and González, S. (2010). Creatively designing urban futures: A transversal analysis of socially innovative initiatives. In: Moulaert et al., (eds) Can neighbourhoods save the city? Community development and social innovation. (pp. 198- 218, Ch. 14) London: Routledge.

McGowan, K. and Westley, F. (2015). At the Root of Change: The History of Social Innovation. In: Nicholls, A. et al., (eds), New Frontiers in Social Innovation Research (pp. 52-68, Ch. 3). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

McGowan, K.A. and Westley, F. (2017). Constructing the Evolution of Social Innovation: Methodological Insights from a Multi-Case Study. European Public and Social Innovation Review 2: 1.

Moore, M. L., Westley, F. R., Tjornbo, O., & Holroyd, C. (2012). The loop, the lens, and the lesson: using resilience theory to examine public policy and social innovation. In Nicholls & Murdock (2012), Social innovation (pp. 89-113). Palgrave Macmillan UK.

Moulaert, F and Van Dyck, B. (2013). Framing Social Innovation Research: a Sociology of Knowledge Perspective in Moulaert, F. et al. (eds.). (2013). The International Handbook on Social Innovation; Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research (pp. 466-479) Cheltenham: Edward Elgar

Moulaert, F. (2010). Social innovation and community development: concepts, theories and challenges. In: Moulaert et al., (eds) Can neighbourhoods save the city? Community development and social innovation. (pp, 4-16, Ch1) London: Routledge.

Moulaert, F. and Mehmood, A. (2013) Holistic research methodology and pragmatic collective action. In: Moulaert, F. et al., (eds) The International Handbook on Social Innovation: Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research (pp. 442-452, Ch. 33). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar

Moulaert, F. Mehmood, A, MacCallum, D. and Leubolt, B. (Eds.) (2017). Social Innovation as a Trigger for Transformations; The Role of Research, European Commission, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation

Moulaert, F., and Ailenei, O. (2005). Social economy, third sector and solidarity relations: A conceptual synthesis from history to present. Urban studies. 42(11). 2037-2053.

Mulgan, G. (2006). The process of social innovation. Innovations, 1(2), 145-162.

Murray, R., Caulier-Grice, J. and Mulgan, G. (2010). The open book of social innovation. London: National endowment for science, technology and the art.

Novy, A., Habersack, S and Schaller, S. (2013). Innovative forms of knowledge production: transdisciplinarity and knowledge alliances. In: Moulaert, F. et al. (eds.). The International Handbook on Social Innovation: Collective Action,

Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research. (pp. 430-441, Ch. 32) Cheltenham: Edward Elgar

Osburg, T. and Schmidpeter, R. (2013). Social Innovation. Solutions for a sustainable future. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer.

Payne, G. and Payne, J. (2004). Sage key Concepts: Key concepts in social research London: SAGE Publications. DOI: 10.4135/9781849209397

Pel, B., Dorland, J., Wittmayer, J.M. and Jørgensen,M.S. (2017). Detecting Social Innovation Agency: Methodological reflections on units of analysis in dispersed transformation processes. European Public and Social Innovation Review 2: 1.

Pelka, B., and Terstriep, J. (2016). Mapping the Social Innovation Maps–The State of Research Practice across Europe. European Public and Social Innovation Review, 1(1). 3-16.

Pettigrew, A. M. (1997). What is a processual analysis? Scandinavian Journal of Management. 13(4), 337-348.

Pol, E., and Ville, S. (2009). Social innovation: Buzz word or enduring term?. The Journal of Socio-Economics, 38(6), 878-885.

Popper, K. (2012). The open society and its enemies. Routledge.

Rizzo, F., Deserti, A. and Cobanli, O. (2017). Introducing Design Thinking in Social Innovation and in the Public Sector: a design based learning framework. European Public and Social Innovation Review 2: 1. Schröder, A., Weerakkody, V., El-Haddadeh, R., Kapoor, K., Butzin, An., Boelman, V., Scoppetta, A., Weber, M., Schaper-Rinkel, P., Dhondt, S. and Oeij, P. (2014). Methodology Review: Research Propositions, Data Collection and Analysis Framework. Deliverable 2.1 SI-DRIVE Grant Agreement 612870.

Schubert, C. (2017), Social Innovation; a New Instrument for Social Change?, in Rammert, W, et al. (eds.), Innovation Society Today. Heidelberg: Springer Verlag, 371-391

Schwartz-Shea, P. and Yahow, D. (2012). Interpretive Research Design. Concepts and Processes. New York and London: Routledge.

Ulrich, W. (2003). Beyond methodology choice: critical systems thinking as critically systemic discourse. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 54(4). 325-342.

Van de Ven, A. H., Polley, D., & Garud, R. (2008). The innovation journey. Oxford University Press, USA.

Van der Have, R.P. and L. Rubalcaba (2016). Social Innovation research: An emerging area of innovation studies? Research Policy 45: 1923-1935

Venn, L., Kneafsey, M., Holloway, L., Cox, R., Dowler, E., and Tuomainen, H. (2006). Researching European ‘alternative’ food networks: some methodological considerations. Area, 38(3). 248-258.

Voß J.-P. & Freeman R. (2016). Introduction: Knowing Governance, In: Voß JP & Freeman R (Eds.) (2016) Knowing Governance: The Epistemic Construction of Political Order. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 1-34

Wagenaar, H. (2011). Meaning in Action. Interpretation and Dialogue in Policy Analysis. London: M.E. Sharpe.

Yin, R. K. (1981). The case study crisis: Some answers. Administrative science quarterly, 26(1). 58-65.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2017 European Public & Social Innovation Review

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Creative Commons License Copyright Sinnergiak - Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial 3.0. Editorial Sinnergiak