Social innovation: theoretical lenses and qualitative methods

Social innovation: theoretical lenses and qualitative methods

Course Description and Objectives:
This PhD research seminar aims to provide an introduction to research in management and organizational studies on social innovation as well as discuss qualitative approaches to study it empirically. We will discuss social innovation, as a field of practice and an empirical phenomenon (of study). We will engage with specific research topics such as cross-sector collaboration, different forms of organizing such as open innovation, and temporality, through an in-depth discussion of articles.

Teaching Approach:

This is a seminar and students will be expected to be active participants in class discussions as knowledge is assumed to be co-created through the class interactions.

Each participant will be assigned a paper for which they will be the lead discussant (more information provided closer to the seminar).

Guidelines for reading papers are provided at the end of the syllabus.

Application Procedure:

This course is highly selective and restricted to a maximum number of 15 participants. To attend the course, please apply by September 30, 2023 by sending your CV and motivation letter via email to Dr. Esther Salvi (

Session 19:00 - 11:00What is Social Innovation?
Break11:00 - 11:15
Session 211:15 - 13:15Organizing for social innovation (1): cross-sector collaborations
Lunch13:15 - 14:30
Session 314:30 – 17:00Organizing for social innovation (2): open social innovation
Session 49:00 - 11:00Lenses (1): Time
Break11:00 - 11:15
Session 511:15 - 13:15Lenses (2): Boundaries
Lunch13:15 - 14:30
Session 614:30 – 16:00A qualitative approach


This seminar is allottet 4 SWS.To receive a passing grade, students will have to attend the 2 sessions having done the readings and ready to engage in the discussions (Oral participation will be assessed). Students will be asked to do a 2-page write up of one paper.

Each student will have to submit a short paper including a research question, providing a motivation as to why this is a problem worth exploring theoretically and practically, what research they have conducted and current learnings /emerging contributions, or what research will they conduct, and how they think it will contribute to the current research.

Course Material:

The course material will be based on academic articles and additional material provided by the instructor.