Call for Papers: Focused Issue on 'MNCs and Social Innovation in Emerging Markets'.

VerfasserAdomako, Samuel

Overview and Motivation for this Focused Issue

Social innovation is an important concept in the field of innovation. Defined as novel solutions to effectively and efficiently address social problems and needs for social progress (Adomako, & Tran, 2021; Lee, Spanjol, & Sun, 2019), social innovation is considered a cornerstone for tackling global grand social challenges (Lee, Spanjol & Sun, 2019) such as social inequality, poverty, climate change, pollution, energy security, unemployment, food safety and health care. Unlike pure commercial innovation, social innovation addresses social or environmental needs without a profit motive (Steinfield, & Holt, 2019).

While the IB literature provides valuable insights on various aspects of social innovation research (Rygh, 2020), the relationship between multinational corporations (MNCs) and social innovation has received sporadic attention in mainstream international business (IB) research (Dionisio & de Vargas, 2020). There is a lack of theory development which integrates the IB literature with social innovation studies; for example, we have little knowledge about how both formal and informal institutions affect the co-creational process of social innovation in MNCs. Such a tension points to the need to examine the relationship between institutional arrangements and social innovation.

Relatedly. our understanding of when, and how, social innovation may be driven by MNCs in precarious institutional contexts such as those mostly found in emerging markets is fairly limited (Onsongo, 2019; Turker & Vural, 2017). Further, while existing IB theories tend to underpin MNCs' profit maximization objective in terms of their investment motives and cross-border operations, it is important to bring social innovation to the forefront of IB research by developing and extending IB theories to account for the sources and nature of social innovation in MNCs. These knowledge gaps present challenges, but also opportunities for social innovation research in IB.

Therefore, this focused issue aims to bridge two disciplines, social innovation research and IB literature, by bringing social innovation in MNCs into mainstream IB research. It calls for researchers to contribute to the field of social innovation in IB studies by unpacking what factors motivate MNCs to engage in social innovation, what mechanisms affect the process of such innovation and under what conditions social innovation delivers the desirable outcomes...

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