Through Schumpeter: Public Policy, Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship

By Joanne McNeill.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Aspects of Schumpeter’s work that focus on the concepts of the entrepreneur, innovation and creative destruction, and their roles in economic development will be discussed. Schumpeter’s view that capitalism would decay, bringing about a characteristically socialist civilisation, is explored with reference to the “wicked” social and environmental problems of the 21st century. Drawing on Schumpeter’s analysis, potential roles for the state in facilitating developments in social entrepreneurship and social innovation are suggested. This paper identifies a number of areas of interest for further investigation and research. Reflecting on the hybrid nature of the field of social entrepreneurship and social innovation, it is likely that useful knowledge will be found in the practical experience of all three sectors (commercial, non-profit, and public), pointing to an empirical research agenda. It is suggested that the emerging field could also benefit from re-examining key economics authors through the social innovation lens, rethinking and combining their core concepts in new ways.

Keywords: Social Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship, Public Policy, Schumpeter

The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp.81-94. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 226.881KB).

Joanne McNeill

Doctoral Student, The Centre for Citizenship and Public Policy, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Joanne McNeill has spent the past seven years establishing a social enterprise capacity building program for Parramatta City Council in Sydney, Australia. The program is the first of its kind in local government in Australia and has contributed to the growth of the sector at the local, state, and national levels. She co-authored Australian Stories of Social Enterprise, and in 2009 completed a Churchill Fellowship study tour to the United States, Canada and the UK, exploring how the public sector can support social enterprise development. Prior roles include senior communication and consultation specialist with Sinclair Knight Merz, and network relations manager for the pilot of the (Australian) Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership initiative. She is currently undertaking a Doctorate in Political & Social Thought, holds a Master of Arts in Communication Management, and a Diploma in Management Studies. She has briefly worked in the nonprofit sector, in events management and community theatre, and also spent two years living and working in Central America.