Thursday, February 26, 2015

Call for Papers: Special Issue of Business & Society. Insights from Institutional Theory

Call for Papers: Special Issue of Business & Society

Social Innovation: Insights from Institutional Theory

Guest editors:
  • Silvia Dorado, University of Rhode Island
  • Ignasi Marti, EMLYON Business School, OCE Research Center
  • Jakomijn van Wijk, Maastricht School of Management 
  • Charlene Zietsma, Schulich School of Business, York University

Submission deadline: September 1, 2015

Social innovation refers to the process of developing and implementing novel solutions to social problems, often involving re-negotiations of settled institutions among diverse actors with conflicting logics. As such, social innovation entails institutional change. Social innovations are urgently needed as we confront “wicked problems” (Rittel and Weber, 1973), such as climate change, poverty alleviation, income inequality and persistent societal conflicts. Such problems feature substantial interdependencies among multiple systems and actors, and have redistributive implications for entrenched interests (Rayner, 2006). 

Institutional research has played a significant role in the study of efforts to alleviate social problems (Battilana & Dorado, 2010; Dorado, 2013; Hallett, 2010; Lawrence, Hardy & Phillips, 2002; Maguire, Hardy & Lawrence, 2004; Zietsma & Lawrence, 2010), and is well positioned to contribute to an improved understanding of social innovation. Institutional theory starts at a macro-level, assessing the positions and interdependent actions of the multiple constituents of issue-focused fields (Wooten & Hoffman, 2008; Zietsma & Lawrence, 2010), and considering seriously the idea that rules, norms and beliefs are socially constituted, negotiated orders (Marti, Courpasson & Barbosa, 2013; Strauss, 1978), which can be renegotiated in socially innovative ways (e.g. Van Wijk, Stam, Elfring, Zietsma & den Hond, 2013). The study of institutional work emphasizes the creation, disruption and maintenance of the institutionalized social structures that govern behavior (Lawrence & Suddaby, 2006), and thus speaks to how entrenched practices and ideas get held in place, and how they may be replaced with more socially beneficial arrangements. Furthermore, the burgeoning institutional complexity perspective, with its focus on how actors respond to multiple, sometimes competing logics (Greenwood, Raynard, Kodeih, Micelotta & Lounsbury, 2011), applies well to the context of wicked societal problems. 

Taking an institutional perspective on social innovation suggests several topics and a range of interesting questions in line with our theme, listed in the full call for papers, available at:
A paper development workshop is planned at EMLyon in France from March 27-29, 2016. 

Further information:
Dr. Charlene Zietsma
Associate Professor and Ann Brown Chair in Organization Studies
Director, Entrepreneurial Studies
Schulich School of Business, SSB N317
York University
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, ON, CANADA
M3J 1P3
(416) 736-2100, Ext. 77919.