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Special Issue "Social Innovation and Value Co-Creation: Finding the Strategic Link in Business Management towards Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2017

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Barbara Aquilani

Department of Business and Economics (DEIM) - University 'Tuscia' of Viterbo 47, Via del Paradiso, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: value co-creation; open innovation; sustainability; business strategy; marketing
Guest Editor
Dr. Tindara Abbate

University of Messina
Website | E-Mail
Interests: social innovation; open innovation; sustainability; tourism management; marketing
Guest Editor
Dr. Cecilia Silvestri

University of “Tuscia” of Viterbo
Website | E-Mail
Interests: quality approach; total quality management; ISO 9000; sustainability; customer orientation and satisfaction
Guest Editor
Prof. Alfonso Vargas Sanchez

University of Huelva, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: strategic management; innovation; sustainability; tourism management; smart destinations

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue aims to collect theoretical and empirical studies that contribute to develop a better understanding of Social Innovation and value co-creation, taking into account the growing pressures and emerging opportunities in the ‘sustainability’ agenda.

Social innovation is more oriented to find different answers to social problems by identifying and delivering novel services that improve the social quality of life, and by identifying and implementing new competencies and new forms of participation, collaboration, and relationships among individuals and organizations to produce solutions. In fact, within this innovation ecosystem, several actors (such as citizens, government, foundations, firms, social organizations, universities, etc.) are intensely involved in the social innovation, using different open forms of collaboration that are good ways to co-create and co-develop ideas and knowledge in order to define sustainable solutions, to respond social challenges, and also to promote changes in social systems. In this perspective, firms need to manage these types of innovation projects/activities, developing and realizing strategies within an evident paradox: Social innovation is not about maximizing economic value but social value, and this might contrast with traditional practices. Additionally, in relation to social innovation activities, the development of products and services mainly contemplate a process of exchanging ideas and value among a large number of actors that are more oriented to assume an active role in collaborative activities and networks in which they can concretely contribute to solve complex social problems.

Moreover, even if cooperation and exchange of ideas are characteristics of social innovation, these features are also fundamental principles of quality approaches, such as TQM or ISO 9001, where principles as “customer focus”, “involvement of people”, and “mutually beneficial supplier relationships” play a pivotal role. Therefore, it can be said that quality and innovation are two necessary pillars in order to achieve lasting competitive advantages to be understood as "sustainable development" for firms.

This Special Issue intends to encourage novel theorizing and research able to enrich our knowledge about relationships among strategy, social innovation, quality approach, value co-creation and sustainability. The purpose is to examine the relevant role of social innovation and value co-creation in defining new activities and practices able to lead to common economic, social and environmental objectives.

Prof. Barbara Aquilani
Dr. Tindara Abbate
Dr. Cecilia Silvestri
Prof. Alfonso Vargas Sanchez

Keywords

  • Social Innovation

  • value co-creation

  • sustainability

  • ecosystems

  • open collaborative networks

  • quality approach

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Factors Influencing Levels of CSR Disclosure by Forestry Companies in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1800; doi:10.3390/su9101800
Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 15 September 2017 / Accepted: 21 September 2017 / Published: 4 October 2017
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Abstract
Abstract: With the international community’s increasing concern for social and environmental problems, the fulfilment and disclosure of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been advocated and promoted across the world. Forestry companies, which are particularly sensitive to environmental and social issues, are increasingly
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Abstract: With the international community’s increasing concern for social and environmental problems, the fulfilment and disclosure of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been advocated and promoted across the world. Forestry companies, which are particularly sensitive to environmental and social issues, are increasingly developing and improving their levels of CSR disclosure. However, information on emerging country contexts is still lacking. To fill this gap, this study focuses on Chinese forestry companies’ CSR disclosure and introduces new disclosure indices through content analysis of annual reports by listed companies between 2011–2015. It then builds a correlation analysis of the factors influencing these companies’ disclosure indices in order to gain a better understanding of the current situation for CSR implementation by forestry companies in emerging economies like China. Although context-specific, our findings can provide a reference for researchers and policy makers, and promote sustainable development via improved CSR disclosure by forestry companies, especially in developing regions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Enabling Value Co-Creation in the Sharing Economy: The Case of Mobike
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1504; doi:10.3390/su9091504
Received: 23 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
The disruptive rise of the sharing economy has inspired multiple social innovations embodying significant potential towards achieving urban sustainability in crucial areas like low-carbon mobility. Increasingly, consumers in such sharing systems participate in activities of value co-creation together with firms and peers, such
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The disruptive rise of the sharing economy has inspired multiple social innovations embodying significant potential towards achieving urban sustainability in crucial areas like low-carbon mobility. Increasingly, consumers in such sharing systems participate in activities of value co-creation together with firms and peers, such as through enforcing rules that help maintain trust and reciprocity. Why do people choose to invest their time and energy in co-creating values that may benefit wider social and environmental sustainability in the sharing economy? This study addresses this question through an analysis of an emerging shared mobility community, the innovative socio-economic relationships it has spawned, and the cultural and cognitive forces that underpin these new forms of economic organization and value creation in relation to sustainability. Through a mixed method case study of a newly emerged free-floating bike sharing system in China, called Mobike, the paper explores the main enabling factors which is transforming people from passive product/service receivers to active value co-creators in the sharing economy, such as self-efficacy, cognition of duty, anticipated awards and learning processes. The paper argues that business, social and government organizations may leverage these enabling factors to achieve a more sustainable sharing business and society. Finally, based on quantitative and qualitative data analysis, the article proposes a value co-creation framework between users and firms that involves a clear social learning process on the one hand, and has strong links with social innovations towards sustainability, on the other. Full article
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