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Innovation studies, social innovation, and sustainability transitions research by Attila Havas and co-authors

 

Innovation studies, social innovation, and sustainability transitions research: From mutual ignorance towards an integrative perspective?

 

Highlights

    • Develops a definition of goal-oriented transformative change (GOTC).
    • Discusses conceptual underpinnings of innovation studies, social innovation, and sustainability transitions research.
    • Identifies a gap: none of these three strands of the innovation literature can capture all fundamental aspects of GOTC.
    • Widens the extant conceptual models’ scope to explore the co-evolution of technology, economy, and society to understand GOTC.
    • Develops four building blocks for an integrative framework to guide, analyse and assess GOTC.

 

Abstract

This article is a first attempt towards building an integrative analytical framework to study goal-orientated transformative change (GOTC) processes, defined as system-transforming processes that are guided by the ambition to resolve current or expected future societal challenges. GOTC can only start once a broad range of possible goals are considered by key stakeholders and major relevant actors are committed to act. Hence, there is a need for widening the scope of the current, partial conceptual models to consider the co-evolutionary interactions between technology, economy, and society to better understand and effectively guide and/or assess GOTC. This claim is based on our focussed review of Innovation Studies, Social Innovation, and Sustainability Transitions research. We offer four building blocks for a new, integrative framework to analyse GOTC: its overarching goal; objects, types, and levels of change; mechanisms of change; and a set of criteria to assess change.

 

Keywords: Goal-orientated transformative change, An integrative analytical framework, Innovation studies, Social innovation research, Sustainability transitions research, Focussed literature review

 

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