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The Social Innovation Imperative by Sandra M. Bates

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Chapter 6DIFFUSION OF INNOVATION

As we get to the final step of the methodology, we face one of the most difficult challenges yet—the diffusion of the solution. Susan Evans and Peter Clark argue that, “Spectacularly effective social innovation programs often fail to take root in other places. The social sector … seems to have less enthusiasm for mastering the skills of transplanting successful innovations to other needy locales.”1 Diffusion of innovation is generally a difficult process, one that is fraught with demanding issues. Studies of successful diffusions of innovations often require several key features:

• The innovation directly addresses an unmet need of the intended target.

• Low capital investment per unit of output and per employee. ...

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