The role of stakeholders in the diffusion of innovations within social organisations
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The purpose of this study was to explore the role of stakeholders in the diffusion of innovation within social organizations. This research is in response to a rise in social challenges, which are beginning to negatively impact our economies and society as a whole. In order for social organizations to be effective, they need to be able to successfully spread ideas within the organization, while engaging all the relevant stakeholders, who are essential for the implementation of those ideas. This research was conducted following a qualitative, multiple case study approach, within three case organizations. Furthermore, the study was conducted from a firm-point view, analyzing how the case-organizations interacted with and were influenced by different stakeholder groups at each stage of the diffusion process. The results give us insight into how different stakeholder groups influenced different stages of the diffusion process, and the basis for which they had the power to do so. The results of the study found that external donors, local governments and internal stakeholders were the three most influential stakeholder groups in the diffusion of social innovations. Interaction with beneficiaries often informs the innovation proposals, but access to resources combined with experimentation determined which innovations would be implemented. The study also revealed that the stakeholder group, which has access and control of financial resources, is the group with the strongest bases of power, influencing the decisions regarding which innovation will be implemented. Additionally, the results found that diffusion tactics were focused on internal stakeholders, since they were the most crucial stakeholder group for innovation implementation. Diffusion tactics were focused on establishing a common vision, relationship building and skills development. ...
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