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The Dumfries Arts Award Project: towards building a programme theory of innovation transfer across two social organisations

The Dumfries Arts Award Project: towards building a programme theory of innovation transfer... The purpose of this paper is to critically understand a programme theory of the “transfer” of work in one social organisation and sector (an innovative and successful social enterprise community café, The Usual Place that seeks to enhance the employability of young people with additional support needs in “hospitality”) to another (Dumfries Theatre Royal, a regional theatre and registered charity, specifically the “Dumfries Arts Award Project” and more generally, “the arts”).Design/methodology/approachBy means of gaining insight into the complexity of the transfer of innovative practices between two socially oriented organisations and theoretical insights into associated conducive contexts and optimal processes, the work used realist evaluation resources within a longitudinal ethnographic approach. Within this, a series of specific methods were deployed, including semi structured key stakeholder interviews, non-participant observation and “walking” and “paired” interviews with service users in each organisation.FindingsThe principle finding is that with attention being paid to the context and intervention processes associated with transfer processes and having sufficient capacity and strong partnership working, it is possible to take an innovative idea from one context, transfer it to another setting and have relatively immediate “success” in terms of achieving a degree of sustainability. The authors propose a provisional programme theory that illuminates this transfer. They were also able to show that, whilst working with the potentially conservative concept of “employability”; both organisations were able to maintain a progressive ethos associated with social innovation.Originality/valueThe work offers theoretical and methodological originality. The significance of “scaling up” social innovation is recognised as under-researched and under-theorised and the use of a realistic evaluation approach and the associated development of provisional programme theory address this. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Enterprise Journal Emerald Publishing

The Dumfries Arts Award Project: towards building a programme theory of innovation transfer across two social organisations

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References (46)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1750-8614
eISSN
1750-8614
DOI
10.1108/sej-11-2019-0081
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to critically understand a programme theory of the “transfer” of work in one social organisation and sector (an innovative and successful social enterprise community café, The Usual Place that seeks to enhance the employability of young people with additional support needs in “hospitality”) to another (Dumfries Theatre Royal, a regional theatre and registered charity, specifically the “Dumfries Arts Award Project” and more generally, “the arts”).Design/methodology/approachBy means of gaining insight into the complexity of the transfer of innovative practices between two socially oriented organisations and theoretical insights into associated conducive contexts and optimal processes, the work used realist evaluation resources within a longitudinal ethnographic approach. Within this, a series of specific methods were deployed, including semi structured key stakeholder interviews, non-participant observation and “walking” and “paired” interviews with service users in each organisation.FindingsThe principle finding is that with attention being paid to the context and intervention processes associated with transfer processes and having sufficient capacity and strong partnership working, it is possible to take an innovative idea from one context, transfer it to another setting and have relatively immediate “success” in terms of achieving a degree of sustainability. The authors propose a provisional programme theory that illuminates this transfer. They were also able to show that, whilst working with the potentially conservative concept of “employability”; both organisations were able to maintain a progressive ethos associated with social innovation.Originality/valueThe work offers theoretical and methodological originality. The significance of “scaling up” social innovation is recognised as under-researched and under-theorised and the use of a realistic evaluation approach and the associated development of provisional programme theory address this.

Journal

Social Enterprise JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 4, 2021

Keywords: Social innovation; Realistic evaluation; Policy transfer and translation

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