Critical Literature Review

SI-DRIVE Critical Literature review outlines five key dimensions for analysing SI cases
A multidisciplinary literature review of existing theoretical and conceptual strands on social innovation and its relationship to social change is the first thematic deliverable of the SI-DRIVE project. It connects social innovation research findings with the state of the art in other innovation-related strands of research, including studies on technical and business innovations. The Critical Literature Review helps to clarify the scientific concept and to develop a framework for the upcoming empirical work.
Its building blocks are:

  1. Theories of social change focusing on practice theory, institutionalisation and development theories;
  2. Theoretical approaches in the different fields of social innovation research (social entrepreneurship, social economy, local and regional development, design thinking, development studies);
  3. Innovation studies including science and technology studies (STS), management and business innovations.

One of its core results is the elaboration of five key dimensions of social innovation to guide and structure the consecutive steps of the empirical mapping. These key dimensions,

  • the conceptual understanding of social innovation as new social practices;
  • addressed societal needs and challenges, reflecting the ambivalence of social innovation;
  • actors’ and networks’ roles and functions within the innovation process and its governance;
  • the process dynamics of social innovation and the process dynamics of the relationship to social change;
  • and related resources, capabilities and constraints

will be used to systematically describe, analyse and compare 1.000 “Social Innovation cases” to be collected in the upcoming world-wide mapping.
The Critical Literature Review will soon be available as a working paper on the SI-DRIVE website (see