Exploring the scalability process of social innovation

  • Larissa Medianeira Bolzan Universidade Federal de Pelotas. Engenharia de Produção
  • Claudia Cristina Bitencourt
  • Bibiana Volkmer Martins


Purpose – Social innovation is a recent theme, and the practices related to this area are characterized by punctual actions and projects restricted by time and space that make it difficult to develop strategies that can be sustained in this field. Therefore, one point that deserves to be highlighted in studies on social innovation is a matter of scalability. This paper aims to deal with a bibliometry whose objective was to map the existing studies about scalability of social innovation carried out in the Capes and EBSCOHost portals. Design/methodology/approach – This paper deals with a bibliometry. The topic researched in this bibliometry is scalability of social innovation. The databases chosen for this research were Portal Periodico Capes and EBSCOHost because they are the leading providers of search databases. Findings – A total of 42 papers were considered, distributed between 2002 and 2017. The analysis criteria for the study were origin (composed by year, author, country of origin, periodical and impact factor), focus of the investigations, justification, method and main techniques of research, contributions and theoretical advances and challenges and paths. Originality/value – Among the main results found, one of them is that scalability is a topic that began to be researched recently, so that the USA and Brazil lead the research. Most of the studies focused on the scalability process and justified the importance of studies on the subject as a way to explore the potential of expanding the social impacts of a social innovation. Several studies have emphasized the role of networks as being quite positive for the scalability process and have been concerned with identifying factors that contribute to the scalability process. The challenge that most stood out among the papers was the financial sustainability of a social innovation. At the end, a research agenda was proposed.


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Bolzan, L., Bitencourt, C., & Martins, B. (2019). Exploring the scalability process of social innovation. INMR - Innovation & Management Review, 16(3), 218-234. https://doi.org/10.1108/INMR-05-2018-0029