As a new innovation paradigm, social innovation can provide a more comprehensive and non-technical research perspective for innovation research. Therefore, accelerating the progress of research on the social innovation theory is of great significance to enrich the achievements of the innovation theory and guide enterprises, social organizations, individuals and governments to carry out practical activities. Combining traditional literature review methods, literature co-citing and keyword co-occurrence analysis methods, this paper uses Cite Space, which is already a mature scientific measurement tool in academia, to draw scientific knowledge maps, and makes deeply analysis to the representative literature on social innovation between 1975 and 2018, and 77 key papers published in 33 international authoritative journals in management, innovation, entrepreneurship and other fields. Through the combination of subjective and objective methods, this paper systematically sorts out the research process of social innovation, in order to explore the origin and research context of social innovation research more effectively, and deeply grasp the frontier issues and research content.This study finds that social innovation research has evolved from the stage of discussing basic issues, such as concept and definition, to the stage of analyzing causes and effects from multiple perspectives. Overall, scholars have conducted in-depth research on the key issues of social innovation from four aspects: causes, mechanisms, conditions and effects, and have made rich achievements in research topics, levels and content. However, the theoretical basis of the existing research is relatively scattered, and does not follow a continuous or unified research system, the empirical research rooted in the social innovation situation is also scarce, and the existing research mainly focuses on the discussion of individual cases or phenomena, which means the research conclusions cannot be regarded as the widely accepted theoretical framework or analysis results, lacking a certain universal influence. Finally, this paper constructs an integrated analysis framework of social innovation research, summarizes the existing research progress and achievements, puts forward future research directions in terms of definition, measurement, empirical analysis, and the deepening of existing framework research content, and specifically points out some key points of social innovation research in the Chinese context, including the origin, mechanism, current situation and effect of Chinese social innovation practice, the interaction between Chinese situational factors such as system, market and culture and social innovation, and the mechanism of government behavior on social innovation. This paper constructs a holistic perspective for social innovation research for Chinese scholars, provides a useful reference for accelerating social innovation research and carrying out practical activities, and also makes an important contribution to the integration of Chinese social innovation research and international research.
Social Innovation: Origin, Research Context and Theoretical Framework
Foreign Economics & Management Vol. 41, Issue 06, pp. 85 - 104 (2019) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.fem.2019.06.007
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Cite this article
Tao Qiuyan, Gao Tengfei. Social Innovation: Origin, Research Context and Theoretical Framework[J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2019, 41(6): 85-104.