Strategic niche management of social innovations: The case of social entrepreneurship

Marten J. Witkamp, Rob P.J.M. Raven, Lambèr M.M. Royakkers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)


Strategic niche management (SNM), a tool to understand and manage radical socio-technical innovations and facilitate their diffusion, has always departed from a technical artefact. Many radical innovations, however, do not revolve around such an artefact. Social entrepreneurship is a new business model that combines a social goal with a business mentality and is heralded as an important new way to create social value such as sustainability. This study examines if and how SNM can be applied to such a social innovation. It identifies theoretical and practical limitations and proposes solutions. The main conclusion is that SNM can be used to analyse radical social innovation, although it requires rethinking the initial entry point for research and management. Exemplifying quotes are proposed as an alternative. Second, this paper suggests using values to describe niche-regime interaction as a better way to anticipate future niche-regime interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-681
Number of pages15
JournalTechnology Analysis & Strategic Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Multi-level perspective
  • SNM
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Social innovation
  • Sociotechnical regime
  • Strategic niche management
  • Value

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