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Social Innovations in the Cultural Field: an Essay

Proceeding: 7th International Conference Innovation Management, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability (IMES 2019) (IMES)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 183-194

Keywords : Social innovation; cultural field; entrepreneurship; organizing context; idealistic infrastructure;

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This study seeks to shed light on how social innovations are constructed in the culturalfield by probing the phenomenon in relation to the enactment of an opera company in theSmåland region in southern Sweden. Design/methodology/approach: The study is based on an ethnographically inspired study, andis written in the form of an essay to capitalize on the genre's tentative and reflectiveepistemology. Findings: The study illustrates how a specific social innovation in the cultural field is botha product and producer of social innovations, and how social innovation processes could beunderstood as assemblages of social innovations enacted using organizing contexts andidealistic infrastructures. In opposition to the idea that social innovations are solutions to socialproblems, it is proposed that solutions to social problems might represent the unintendedconsequence of deploying various social innovations. It is also suggested that social innovationprocesses in the cultural field is non-linear and irrational in character. Research/practical implications: The discourse on social innovation is largely based ona calculative engineering logic. This logic stands in sharp contrast to creative and artistic logics,and could hamper social innovation initiatives in the cultural sector. There is therefore a needfor a differentiated understanding of social innovation in both theory and practice – anunderstanding that acknowledges social innovation as a construction dependent on specificcontexts, processes, and people. Originality/value: The essay allows the reader to reflect on how social innovations areconstructed in different contexts.

Last modified: 2020-06-06 15:36:20