The Science of Social Impact Innovation: How to Deliver More Impact through Innovative Business Models

Rather than spend an inordinate amount of time and resources on planning what is inherently unknown and uncertain, socially-focused organizations like Panera Cares, Banco Davivienda, and Brigham Young University’s (BYU) Design Exploration lab quickly map out their assumptions, run experiments to test those assumptions, and adjust their plans based on their learnings. In this article, we explain and expand on how organizations of all kinds (whether they be large corporations, social ventures, or government agencies) have bought into the idea of using innovation and experimentation for impact; and how despite recent advancements of design thinking on the social impact front, the actual implementation of innovative ideas remains elusive for many organizations. The article further presents a more systemic model for social impact innovation: social impact models, which provide one possible solution by enabling social ventures to achieve a more robust validation of their new- and not-so-new-to-the-world ideas by mapping and strategies by mapping out each assumption and iteratively testing them in the field. With this article, the authors seek to provide a practical process for how to apply the model, and how to avoid the most common illusory validation traps, which together would allow socially-focused organizations to more frequently succeed and deliver more impact with their endeavors.

  • Content Type Journal Article
  • Category Research Article
  • Pages 73-82
  • DOI 10.1260/1757-2223.6.2.73
  • Authors
    • Salvael Ortega, 4iNNO LLC, San Diego, CA
    • Nathan Furr, Marriott School of Management, Brigham Young University, Provo, USA
    • Erin Liman, Innovation is Social, San Francisco, USA
    • Caleb Flint, Marriott School of Management, Brigham Young University, Provo, USA

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The Innovation Funnel Fallacy

The traditional innovation process – consisting of a funnel coupled with project screening – suffers from several practical shortcomings and flaws. Overemphasis on the role of early stages, such as idea generation, overshadows subsequent phases of equal importance. The drive to feed as many ideas as possible into the funnel may cause congestion that slows down overall progress. Furthermore, the yield may be of low quality if ineffective gates allow too many infertile ideas to pass through the funnel. Processes may be inflexible and slow to react, especially if tied to the corporate planning calendar as often proposed. This is not to imply that these problems are inherent; they are instead the consequences of poor practices.

The authors discuss the disadvantages and suggest an alternative to overcome them. The proposed approach is driven by strategic business options and also introduces additional benefits. It produces savings in sunk costs and prematurely tied-up capital. It contributes to effective and economical use of resources, because a company commits irrevocably to only one step at a time. Lastly, options enable, and by their very nature even demand, active and adaptive management.

  • Content Type Journal Article
  • Category Research Article
  • Pages 63-72
  • DOI 10.1260/1757-2223.6.2.63
  • Authors
    • Kari Hakkarainen, Virike Consulting, Finland
    • Tapani Talonen, KONE Elevators, Global Technology, Finland

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The Alternative Investment Market And The Financing Of Technological Innovation

The Alternative Investment Market (AIM) is characterized by the presence of numerous firms operating in sectors with a high rate of technological innovation. In this research we will deal with IPOs about companies active in the sector of Information Technology and Software & Computer Services. The purpose of the research is testing the market’s ability to attract the listing of new companies in these sectors and to examine the following questions:
1) Have the IPOs about economic sectors examined a concentration in specific periods?
2) Have firms’ average size, the average capital raised on the market and the share of capital on average placed with the initial offer, at the time of listing, changed during the analysed periods?
We consider three periods. The first, from the birth of the market (1995) until the speculative bubble (2001), which follows the so-called dot.com boom. The second, from 2002 to 2007, beginning of the severe economic and financial crisis, and the third from 2008 until June 2013.

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A Practical Review of Mechanism Design: How Implementable Is It Within The Nigerian Context? Investigating the Role of PPP on Social Outcomes in Nigeria

According to statistics of the Federal Ministry of Works Nigeria (2012), total road network in Nigeria currently stands at approximately 195,000 Kilometers, with the Federal, State and Local Governments responsible for 22, 21 and 51 percent of this network respectively. In another report, The Central Bank of Nigeria (2011) also states that Nigeria needs to invest at least 100 billion dollars on roads in the next ten years. This study explores how social needs are realized within the public private participation (PPP) scheme in Nigeria. The study also situates public private partnership, in the Nigerian procurement and project operation context. The study’s objectives are achieved by revisiting the mechanism design paradigm (through reviewing the historical evolution of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Nigeria) and its impact on social goals as developed by Tirole and Maskin (2008), within the Nigerian context. Data on credit provided to the private sector as a percentage of GDP were used as proxies for PPP involvement from 1960 to 2010 although some years of data were missing. The method of estimation used included ordinary least squares, linear mixed effects models and seemingly unrelated regression estimation methods, which all allow for the investigation of relationships between a set of unrelated weakly exogenous variables, with the mixed effect method particularly suitable for iterative optimization processes. The findings show that cost implication concerns and the choice of the social function has an effect on PPP. It was also found that the electoral process which determines the social function mattered in the project selection stage and had significant effect on the PPP formation process.

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Impact of Demographic Factors on Technological Orientations of BOP Entrepreneurs in Ghana

International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management, Ahead of Print.

The study explores relationship between technological orientations and demographics of bottom of the pyramid (BOP) entrepreneurs in Ghana. The study reviewed literature on the BOP concept. Based on the reviewed literature, hypotheses were developed for testing. Data was collected from 287 micro-entrepreneurs using a structured questionnaire. The data collected was analyzed using the analysis of variance (ANOVA) and regression analysis. The study found some relationships between technology acceptance, connectivity to networks and entrepreneurial demographics. This provides the information necessary for information communications technology (ICT) and technology companies seeking to expand to these new markets as top of the pyramid markets saturate.
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Determinants of Innovation Commercialization Management and Anticipated Returns: An Exploratory Typology of SMEs

International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management, Ahead of Print.

This paper explores the effects of firm characteristics on the commercialization management and anticipated innovation returns within small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Our results suggest that young and small firms tend to be more innovative and have higher expectation for anticipated returns despite their less systematic management. By contrast, medium-sized firms are more likely to formalize their management, yet they have lower anticipated returns. Small equity-financed firms tend to approach a more systematic management of commercialization and anticipate high returns. Mature firms pursue a less systematic approach and anticipate lower returns. Overall, our findings show that firm characteristics such as size, age, R&D level, type of financing, innovation novelty and protection of intellectual properties play a significant role in the commercialization process. Employing an updated typology, this study provides additional insights into the firms’ commercialization management and sheds some light on the owner-managers’ anticipated returns from innovation.
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Perceptions of Creativity in University–Industry Partnerships: A Pedagogical Approach

International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management, Ahead of Print.

Building innovation capability is vital for prosperity and economic growth. The purpose of this study is to determine how innovation and creativity capability can be fostered through partnership between university and industry which is a core component of innovation systems. It compares student and industry perceptions of creativity, with a view to identifying discrepancies that may result in unclear expectations for creative work and hinder efforts to building creative capability. Unlike previous studies that provide a single viewpoint, this study contributes to the innovation and technology management literature by offering a dyadic perspective of both employers and students. Results reflect a shift toward “second generation”, contextual views of creativity. Implications are discussed for formulating pedagogical approaches and managing the development of creativity.
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