Despite the literature on social innovation (SI) in ecosystems growing considerably in recent years, what makes an ecosystem a facilitator for transformative SI remains unexamined, particularly indeveloping and emerging countries. Our research aims to fill this literature gap by determining which combination of characteristics-stemming from stakeholder theory and knowledge management-turns local smallholder coffee farmers in developing and emerging producing countries into autonomous and empowered partners and catalysts for spreading SI initiatives locally. We adopt a configurational approach using fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis of 18 SI projects that coffee MNEs, nongovernmental organizations, and institutions have undertaken to favor such an egalitarian value co-creation with local stakeholders. We demonstrate that stakeholder empowerment, cooperative strategic posturing, knowledge transfer, and local knowledge exchange are necessary conditions within the ecosystem to create local autonomy as an antecedent for transformative SI. The novelty in our approach lies in proposing a shift from a pure firm-centric perspective based on stakeholder dependence to a more participatory relational perspective that entails lower-power stakeholders' interdependence and collaboration for autonomous decision-making, thereby advancing fresh thinking on stakeholder and knowledge management applied to SI in developing and emerging contexts. We also propose practical suggestions to deal with stakeholder power's imbalances, which might limit the ecosystems' adaptation toward transformative SI.

Transformative social innovation in developing and emerging ecosystems: a configurational examination

Zardini, A
2023-01-01

Abstract

Despite the literature on social innovation (SI) in ecosystems growing considerably in recent years, what makes an ecosystem a facilitator for transformative SI remains unexamined, particularly indeveloping and emerging countries. Our research aims to fill this literature gap by determining which combination of characteristics-stemming from stakeholder theory and knowledge management-turns local smallholder coffee farmers in developing and emerging producing countries into autonomous and empowered partners and catalysts for spreading SI initiatives locally. We adopt a configurational approach using fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis of 18 SI projects that coffee MNEs, nongovernmental organizations, and institutions have undertaken to favor such an egalitarian value co-creation with local stakeholders. We demonstrate that stakeholder empowerment, cooperative strategic posturing, knowledge transfer, and local knowledge exchange are necessary conditions within the ecosystem to create local autonomy as an antecedent for transformative SI. The novelty in our approach lies in proposing a shift from a pure firm-centric perspective based on stakeholder dependence to a more participatory relational perspective that entails lower-power stakeholders' interdependence and collaboration for autonomous decision-making, thereby advancing fresh thinking on stakeholder and knowledge management applied to SI in developing and emerging contexts. We also propose practical suggestions to deal with stakeholder power's imbalances, which might limit the ecosystems' adaptation toward transformative SI.
2023
Stakeholder theory
Knowledge management
Digitalization
Lower-power stakeholder
Social innovation
Developing and emerging contexts
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1096147
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