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Towards understanding social innovation in multicultural societies

Towards understanding social innovation in multicultural societies The purpose of this paper is to argue, using the New Zealand context as reference, that heterogeneous societies with diverse cultures have an expanded space of possibilities for developing social innovations.Design/methodology/approachIncorporation of the cultural context is integral to finding innovative, collective solutions for mitigating complex social problems and sparking transformational social change. Empirical support for this contention draws on examples of social innovations that embed the cultural values of Māori, New Zealand’s indigenous people.FindingsUsing illustrative cases, the authors highlight the capacity of Māori values, encompassed in an ecosystem of Māori social institutions, to catalyse social innovation in New Zealand. The authors position these examples within two paradigms of social innovation.Research limitations/implicationsThe paper limits its focus to the implications of Māori cultural values for social innovation. However, it serves to highlight that appreciation of indigenous and minority cultural values can provide a foundation for social innovations in other contexts too.Practical implicationsRecognising cultural values increases the range of possibilities for innovatively addressing social and environmental challenges.Social implicationsRespect and recognition of indigenous culture and knowledge offers potential for sustainable solutions to complex social challenges.Originality/valueThis is one of the few papers to explore the cultural embeddedness of social innovation and highlight public policy social innovations. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Enterprise Journal Emerald Publishing

Towards understanding social innovation in multicultural societies

Social Enterprise Journal , Volume 14 (2): 14 – May 10, 2018

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1750-8614
DOI
10.1108/sej-09-2017-0048
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to argue, using the New Zealand context as reference, that heterogeneous societies with diverse cultures have an expanded space of possibilities for developing social innovations.Design/methodology/approachIncorporation of the cultural context is integral to finding innovative, collective solutions for mitigating complex social problems and sparking transformational social change. Empirical support for this contention draws on examples of social innovations that embed the cultural values of Māori, New Zealand’s indigenous people.FindingsUsing illustrative cases, the authors highlight the capacity of Māori values, encompassed in an ecosystem of Māori social institutions, to catalyse social innovation in New Zealand. The authors position these examples within two paradigms of social innovation.Research limitations/implicationsThe paper limits its focus to the implications of Māori cultural values for social innovation. However, it serves to highlight that appreciation of indigenous and minority cultural values can provide a foundation for social innovations in other contexts too.Practical implicationsRecognising cultural values increases the range of possibilities for innovatively addressing social and environmental challenges.Social implicationsRespect and recognition of indigenous culture and knowledge offers potential for sustainable solutions to complex social challenges.Originality/valueThis is one of the few papers to explore the cultural embeddedness of social innovation and highlight public policy social innovations.

Journal

Social Enterprise JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: May 10, 2018

Keywords: New Zealand; Māori; Multicultural societies; Cultural context; Indigenous values

References