How Social Impact and innovation Have Been Related in the Academic Literature?

Mary Fernanda de Sousa de Melo, Rodrigo Trotta Yaryd, Roberta Castro Souza, Willerson Lucas Campos-Silva


Purpose: Analyze what subjects emerges when integrating “social impact” and “innovation” in the scientific literature.

 MethodologyIt was developed a systematic review of literature. Data analysis was done in two stages: descriptive and exploratory. The co-word network maps were analysed through the VOSviewer software.

 Originality / Value:The globalization and the advancements in the technological and informational fields, together with the development of the emerging economies, involve a range of challenges. In this sense, technology could increase the capability of identifying social needs and enhances the low-cost possible solutions. However, it is not clear how innovation and social impact have been analysed by the literature.

 Findings:Previous studies were advanced, by not restricting a period for the collection and contemplating the last three years (2015-2018), where 70% of the articles of the sample belong. Furthermore, the clusters’ analysis allows the development of new research focusing on subareas that permeate this discussion, thus helping to define, understand and advance the discussion of the theme.

 Theoretical / methodological contributions: The main subject that emerges from the analysis was the financial question. Both in the bibliographic and the qualitative analysis of the top papers, it was noticed that as a theoretical basis and practical example of social impact innovation, the financial innovations stand out. 

 Managerial implications: The result reinforces that meeting the social needs is an opportunity for entrepreneurs, that can act attaining inclusive economy and inclusive growth. 


Bibliometric network analysis; Social entrepreneur; Social entrepreneurship; Social innovation; Systematic review of literature

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