Title: Scaling impact from grassroots social innovation: a conceptual network-based model

Authors: Annika Voltan

Addresses: Saint Mary's University, 923 Robie Street, Halifax, B3H 3C3 NS, Canada

Abstract: This paper makes a theoretical contribution to the field of social innovation by applying a social network perspective to scaling grassroots initiatives. Existing theoretical work pertaining to social innovation, social entrepreneurship, and the role of networks for scaling social innovation is explored. Based on this review, a conceptual model is developed that builds on existing research and consists of four main elements: the role of agency, relationship density, relationship diversity, and network structure. The model is applied to a case study of nine food producers in Nova Scotia, Canada, who have employed a community-supported agriculture (CSA) approach to selling their products to support their social and environmental goals in a financially viable manner. Interviews with CSA operators are used to gather data, and findings from the case study are used to provide support for the particular importance of relationship diversity and network structures for scaling social innovations.

Keywords: grassroots initiatives; social innovation; scaling impact; social networks; social entrepreneurship; social innovation: a conceptual modelling; agency role; relationship density; relationship diversity; network structure; food production; Canada; community-supported agriculture; CSA; social goals; environmental goals.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWI.2017.080721

International Journal of Work Innovation, 2017 Vol.2 No.1, pp.32 - 50

Accepted: 06 May 2016
Published online: 28 Nov 2016 *

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