Analysing the Social Innovation Process – The Methodology of Social Innovation Biographies
The dynamics of social innovation processes are of a complex nature and an underdeveloped research field. Social Innovation Biographies (SIBs) are a valuable methodology to reflect the evolutionary character of the dynamics of the social initiatives´ innovation processes in deepening the understanding of development paths, knowledge trajectories and stakeholder interactions at the micro-level. SIBs provide a comprehensive methodological solution including desk research, narrative interviews, semi-structured interviews, egocentric network analysis and triangulation as a step-by-step approach. SIBs allow to analyse social innovation cases and underlying processes in three dimensions: horizontally, vertically and comparatively. Besides its various advantages, SIBs also address methodological challenges related to the selection of critical cases, mobilising interviewees, securing the quantity and quality of information, overcoming selectiveness and reinforcing confidence.
Avelino, F., Wittmayer, J., Haxeltine, A., Kemp, R., O’Riordan, T., Weaver, P., Loorbach, D. and Rotmans, J. (2014). Game Changers and Transformative Social Innovation. The Case of the Economic Crisis and the New Economy, 1-24.
Butzin, A. (2013). Knowledge dynamics in innovation biographies: a methodological and spatial perspective. Marburg, Univ., Diss., 2014.
Butzin, A. and B. Widmaier (2016). Exploring territorial knowledge dynamics through innovation biographies. Regional Studies 50(2), 220-232.
Cajaiba-Santana, G. (2014). Social innovation: Moving the field forward. A conceptual framework. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 82, 42-51.
Corti, L., Witzel, A., & Bishop, L. (2005). On the potentials and problems of secondary analysis. An introduction to the FQS special issue on secondary analysis of qualitative data. Paper presented at the Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research.
Creswell, J.W. (2013). Qualitative Inquiry & Research Design. Choosing Among Five Approaches. Third Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Dosi, G. (1982). Technological paradigms and technological trajectories: A suggested interpretation of the determinants and directions of technical change. Research Policy, 11(3): 147–162.
Edmondson, A. C., and S. E. McManus (2007). Methodological Fit in Management Field Research. Academy of Management Review, 32(4), 1155-1179.
Flick, U. (2011). Triangulation. Eine Einführung. Wiesbaden: Springer.
Jack, E.P. and A.S. Raturi (2006). Lessons learned from methodological triangulation in management research. Management Research News, 29(6), 345-357.
Jakob, A. (2001). On the Triangulation of Quantitative and Qualitative Data in Typological Social Research: Reflections on a Typology of Conceptualizing 'Uncertainty' in the Context of Employment Biographies, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 2 (1), 1-29.
Homburg, C., Klarmann, M., Reimann, O. and Schilke, O. (2012). What Drives Key Informant Accuracy. Journal of Marketing Research, 49(4), 594-608.
Howaldt, J. and Schwarz, M. (2010). Social Innovation: Concepts, Research Fields and International Trends. In K. Henning & F. Hees (Eds.), Studies for innovation in a modern working environment (Vol. 5): IMA/ZLW.
Konstantatos, H., Siatitsa, H. and Vaiou, D. (2013). Qualitative approaches for the study of socially innovative initiatives. In F. Moulaert, D. MacCallum, A. Mehmood and A. Hamdouch (Ed.), The International Handbook on Social Innovation Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research (pp.274-284). Cheltenham, UK & Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited & Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc. (Reprinted from: 2014).
Mulgan, G. (2012). The Theoretical Foundation of Social Innovation. In: Nicholls, Alex & Murdock, Alex (2012): The Nature of Social Innovation. In: Nicholls, A.; Murdock, A. (Eds.), Social Innovation. Blurring Boundaries to Reconfigure Markets. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 33-65.
Mulgan, G. (2006). The Process of Social Innovation. innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization, 1(2), 145-162.
Murray, R., Caulier-Grice, J. and Mulgan, G. (2010). The Open Book of Social Innovation. London: Young Foundation.
Nelson, Richard R. and Winter, Sidney G. (2002): Evolutionary Theorizing in Economics. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 16(2): 23–46.
Patton, M. (2002). Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods. 3rd edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Pelka, B., and Terstriep, J. (2016). Mapping Social Innovation Maps: The State of Research Practice across Europe. European Public & Social Innovation Review, 1(1), 3-16.
Phillips, F. (2011). The state of technological and social change: Impressions. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 78(6), 1072-1078.
Schmitt, J. (2014). Social Innovation for Business Success: Shared Value in the Apparel Industry. Wiesbaden: Springer Gabler.
Short, J. C., Ketchen Jr D. J., Shook, C. L., and Ireland, R. D. (2010). The concept of ‘opportunity’ in entrepreneurship research: Past accomplishments and future challenges. Journal of Management, 36(1), 40-65.
Söhnchen, F. (2009). Common Method Variance und Single Source Bias. In Albers, S. et al. (Eds.), Methodik der empirischen Forschung, 3. Auflage, Wiesbaden: Gabler, 137-153.
Strauss, A.L. and Corbin, J.M. (1990). Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques. Thousands Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Terstriep, J. (ed.) (2016). Boosting SI's Social and Economic Impact. Gelsenkirchen: Institute for Work and Technology.
Terstriep, J. and M. Kleverbeck (2016). Tausche Bildung für Wohnen - Towards a Prevention Chain to fight Children’s Social, Cultural & Economic Discrimination. SIMPACT Social Innovation Biographies, 2016 (10). Gelsenkirchen: Institute for Work and Technology.
Terstriep, J., Kleverbeck, M., Deserti, A. and F. Rizzo (2015). Comparative Report on Social Innovation across Europe. Deliverable D3.2 of the project «Boosting the Impact of SI in Europe through Economic Underpinnings» (SIMPACT), European Commission – 7th Framework Programme, Brussels: European Commission, DG Research & Innovation.
Van de Ven, A. H. (2017). The innovation journey: you can't control it, but you can learn to maneuver it. Innovation, 19(1), 39-42.
Van de Ven, A. H., Polley, D. E., Garud, R., and Venkataraman, S. (1999). The innovation journey. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc.
Wassermann, S. and K. Faust (1994). Social Network Analysis. Methods and Applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wengraf, T. (2001). Qualitative Research Interviewing. Biographic Narrative and Semi-Structured Methods. London: Sage Publishing.
Wengraf, T. (2002). Uncovering the general from within the particular. From contingencies to typologies in the understanding of cases. In Chamberlayne, P., Bornat, J. & Wengraf, T. (eds), The Turn to Biographical Methods in Social Science: Comparative Issues and Examples, London, New York: Routledge, 141-164.
Yin, R. K. (2014). Case Study Research: Design and Methods. 5th edition, London: Sage Publications.
Zapf, W. (1989). Über soziale Innovationen. Soziale Welt, 40(H. 1/2), 170-183.
Copyright (c) 2018 European Public & Social Innovation Review
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under Creative Commons Non Commercial, No Derivatives Attribution 4.0. International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.), that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).