Social innovation and social entrepreneurship usually follow a bottom-up pattern. Companies and entrepreneurs decide to focus their business effort on meeting critical and urgent social needs. However, what happens when institutions promote or push top-down initiatives? The outbreak of COVID-19 is redefining, for many aspects, entrepreneurial dynamics. By creating a critical shortage of resources and medical supplies, the pandemic drew central and local institutions to push companies to cover the increasing social and medical needs. This study explores how companies reacted to top-down-initiated social innovation and social entrepreneurship activities. In doing so, the study focuses on the first heavily hit country, China, and it collects data from companies involved in the production of medical masks and the provision of solutions for nucleic acid tests. Our findings reveal that companies answer to top-down pushes by implementing two main strategies in a time of crisis. First, the social bricolage by exploiting available and local resources. Second, companies react with agility by re-thinking their internal innovation, relying on past similar experiences, and making their resource fluid. Our study adds the literature regarding social innovation and entrepreneurship in a crisis time by providing implications for institutions and organizations in setting and responding to strategies for future crises.

The top-down pattern of social innovation and social entrepreneurship. Bricolage and agility in response to COVID-19: cases from China

Crupi, Antonio
Primo
;
2021

Abstract

Social innovation and social entrepreneurship usually follow a bottom-up pattern. Companies and entrepreneurs decide to focus their business effort on meeting critical and urgent social needs. However, what happens when institutions promote or push top-down initiatives? The outbreak of COVID-19 is redefining, for many aspects, entrepreneurial dynamics. By creating a critical shortage of resources and medical supplies, the pandemic drew central and local institutions to push companies to cover the increasing social and medical needs. This study explores how companies reacted to top-down-initiated social innovation and social entrepreneurship activities. In doing so, the study focuses on the first heavily hit country, China, and it collects data from companies involved in the production of medical masks and the provision of solutions for nucleic acid tests. Our findings reveal that companies answer to top-down pushes by implementing two main strategies in a time of crisis. First, the social bricolage by exploiting available and local resources. Second, companies react with agility by re-thinking their internal innovation, relying on past similar experiences, and making their resource fluid. Our study adds the literature regarding social innovation and entrepreneurship in a crisis time by providing implications for institutions and organizations in setting and responding to strategies for future crises.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11570/3230178
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