From Concord to Conflict: A Conceptual Analysis of a Partnership for Social Innovation

  • Rob MooreEmail author


This chapter provides a case study of a regional development initiative that reflects two dimensions of social innovation: the first being the translation of socially restricted practices (scientific research) into a more distributed social value (popular access to scientific insight) in order to generate more dispersed economic value in a marginalized community (through the growth of a tourism industry). The second dimension involves the re-ordering of sectoral relationships and organizational capabilities needed to achieve this shared social purpose. The one innovation requires the other.

The thrust of this case study is an analysis of the reciprocal relationships at work between the chief protagonists in the partnership that form the basis for the social innovation. An analysis is provided of why an initially amicable and concordant relationship became fractured and conflictual when the initiative transitioned rapidly from a low-yield phase to a high-yield one. The case study traces the trajectory of the re-ordered sectoral relationships, outlining the value propositions of the respective partners and their participatory strategies. At the outset, strongly-shared common purposes served to contain divergent interests, but these interests emerged powerfully and disruptively during a high-yield phase. The analysis offers a conceptual language that can be used to generate insight into social innovation partnerships more broadly. The case concludes with a consideration of the institutionalizing measures needed to achieve the complex purposes of the innovation, as well as to manage the inevitable diversity of interests among the cross-sectoral partners who collaborate in such initiatives.


Regional development partnership Relational analysis Value propositions Organisational adaptation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of the Witwatersrand, JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa

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