Scaling up social innovation: a meta-synthesis

ABSTRACT Purpose: This paper aims to analyze how features raised in the case studies in the field of social innovation, from the meta-synthesis methodology proposed by Hoon (2013), indicate factors that promote social innovation scalability Originality/gap/relevance/implications: The number of publications on SI, despite an increase perceived, is still limited. Consequently, researches dedicated to understand the scalability of the process of SI are still scarce, thus constituting a gap research. Key methodological aspects: To achieve the objective of this research, we followed the eight meta-synthesis steps proposed by Hoon (2013) which is an exploratory-inductive research design for synthesis of primary data collected through case studies whose primary purpose is to build theory. It was analyzed 66 articles identified in the Web of Science database, nine of them were selected to join this meta-synthesis. Summary of key results: The findings of this research can be summarized in the concept proposed "environment favourable to the scalability of a SI" with features of the internal environment, divided between aspects of the entrepreneur and the organization, and settings of the external environment, mediated (or not) by a bridge organization. Key considerations/conclusions: The findings of this study advance the SI literature in two main points: Concept proposition of "environment conducive to the scalability of a SI" and to draw attention to the field of study on the promoting factors of continuity and growth of a SI. As for the practical contributions, the results of the research can help social innovations managers in the expansion phase of its operations, suggesting some elements to consider.