Complexity Theory and the Development of the Social Innovation

Academic Public Administration Studies

Complexity Theory and the Development of the Social Innovation

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Title: Complexity Theory and the Development of the Social Innovation
Author: Matei, Ani; Antonie, Catalina
Abstract: The term of “innovation” has become increasingly frequent as people begin to recognize both the need for fundamental change in human beings’ relationships with each other and their environment. This paper wants to bring up also the complexity theory matter in order for us to be able to build a connection between innovation and complex adaptive social systems. The critical question is whether and how social networks can help facilitate innovations to bridge the seemingly insurmountable chasms that separate local solutions from broad system transformation; that is, how they help innovations to “cross scales”. Using a complexity lens to understand the meta challenges confronting the world, and applying a social innovation framework to illuminate how local novelty spreads so as to have broad system impacts, this paper proposes that institutional entrepreneurship enhances the understanding of agency that is active within networks. The Public sector adopts strategies for dealing with complexity, therefore, focuses on outcomes (rather than inputs and outputs) that are demonstrable and measurable (even if only qualitatively), collaboration and co-ordination (across sectors, fields, organizational boundaries etc.), decentralization and selforganization (by increasing decision making powers of local communities), building adaptive capacity (in order to support decentralization and self-organization and build resilience).
Date: 2015-05-18

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