Theme 5: Innovative management

Given the changing environment (economic and financial crises, welfare state cuts, and enterprise rationalization) and the related changes in the institutional settings it is obvious that there is an urgent need for innovation. This translates into structural adaptations in decision-making, management (and governance) processes, but also business process and product innovation. These issues are closely inter-related and give rise to changes in the institutional or governance framework or to other ways to 'shape', organise and manage social economy activities.

Suggested questions which papers might address include:
• What are the main drivers of innovative management?
• What role do ICT and Web 2.0 technology play?
• What innovative initiatives, management practices or new business models are emerging (e.g. social franchising, outsourcing of services, social clauses in public service contracts, etc.)?
• What evolutionary patterns can be observed in terms of scaling and growth of social economy enterprises/organisations?
• How do we critically assess such developments in terms of their pros and cons?
• Are there new best practices, and what are the preconditions for their development?

And with regard to the general impact of such developments within the sector:
• Does the social economy feature particular innovative specificities in relation to labour/training policies?
• Is there a distinctive 'quality' to social economy jobs?
• Regarding demographic and societal changes, what particular innovations do social economy organisations bring in relation to labour and human resources management (e.g. young people, seniors, women)?

And what contextual factors influence these developments in a positive and negative sense?
• Do systems of co-governance and social dialogue play key roles, and similarly, does the external regulatory framework play an essential role?
• Or on the other hand, does such innovative management impact policies and regulatory framework in this and other fields?

And in terms of broader societal challenges:
• Can we still argue that the social economy is able to build trust with existing human resources, while bringing additional available social capital into the organisation?
• And is the social economy able to open up new channels in the light of the reforms of the social welfare state? Particularly with regard to helping to develop and exploit new forms of solidarity at all levels?
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