Original Research

A conceptual framework for using social innovation as an approach to local economic development

Pontso Chomane, Maréve I. Biljohn
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 9, No 1 | a565 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v9i1.565 | © 2021 Pontso Chomane, Maréve I. Biljohn | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 May 2021 | Published: 30 November 2021

About the author(s)

Pontso Chomane, Department of Public Administration and Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa; and, Department of Treasury, Free State Provincial Government, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Maréve I. Biljohn, Department of Public Administration and Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Approaches such as social innovation were visible during many of the responses that public-sector organisations, civil society, communities, and the private sector collaboratively implemented to address the issues of unemployment and the impact of economic challenges during the global COVID-19 pandemic. The use of social innovation as an approach to local economic development by South African municipalities, however, reveals a research gap in terms of a conceptual framework for enabling such use.

Aim: This article explores a conceptual framework for using social innovation as an approach to local economic development by South African municipalities.

Setting: Conventional top-down local economic development approaches by South African municipalities have become inadequate for dealing with contemporary local economic development challenges. Such inadequacy calls for municipalities to rethink and adapt their approach to dealing with economic challenges and to developing and implementing their local economic development strategies.

Methods: Through an interpretivist paradigm, the adopted methodology is underpinned by a qualitative research approach. Content analysis was performed of relevant research documents concerning social innovation and local economic development. From this content analysis, a conceptual framework was developed through an inductive approach.

Results: The findings illustrate that the praxis for using this conceptual framework is vested in the interconnected nature of its attributes, antecedents, and consequences, which will contribute to the achievement of certain local economic development outcomes.

Conclusion: This article suggests that a conceptual framework could contribute to stimulating future research concerning the phenomenon and can serve as an impetus and direction for research inquiry.


Keywords

local economic development; social innovation; local government; pro-market approach; conceptual framework

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