Olivia Kang

Social value creation in MNCs: A special attention on social innovation initiatives

The project "Social value creation in MNCs: A special attention on social innovation initiatives" concerns the development of a research network and a platform for research on how 'social value creation' actually takes place within multinational corporations (MNCs). The academics as well as practitioners are in a need for studies on how MNCs can improve their ability to re-connect company success with social progress. This is due to increasing recognition that innovations developed by MNCs can be solutions to the challenging problems of twenty-first century, including issues regarding water, health, energy, food and environmental concerns. Despite the growing importance of MNCs taking part in social value creation, there is lack of research on social innovation within an MNC context. Therefore the main purpose of this network forum is to unite current research within the field of social value creation to lay a conceptual foundation in this area. This project aims at stimulating research collaboration through a series of meeting/workshops during the year of 2016. This research network initiation is thus to be seen as a first but crucial step to the creation of a larger and more focused research program/project involving dialogue between experts from academia, business and civil society.

The project "Social value creation in MNCs: A special attention on social innovation initiatives" concerned the development of a research network and a platform for research on how 'social value creation' actually takes place within multinational corporations (MNCs).

There are increasing recognition that innovations developed by MNCs can be solutions to the challenging problems of twenty-first century, including issues regarding water, health, energy, food and environmental concerns. Despite the growing importance of MNCs taking part in social value creation, there is lack of research on social innovation within an MNC context. Therefore the main purpose of this research network forum was to unite current research within the field of social value creation to lay a conceptual foundation in this area. This project aimed at stimulating research collaboration through a series of meeting/workshops during the year of 2016. This research network initiation is thus to be seen as a first but crucial step to the creation of a larger and more focused research program/project involving dialogue between experts from academia, business and civil society.

With above aim and purpose, the funding we received from Riksbankens Jublieumsfond for research initiation was used for following events:

-Two day workshop on "Social value creation in MNCs" was held at Sigtunafolkhögkolan kursgård, Sigtuna, 25-26 April, where selected international scholars were invited to present their works and to map out research agenda for research project and cooperation. Scholars from University of Birmingham, UK; Aalto University, Finland; Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland; University of Manchester, UK attended the workshop.

-Project meeting was held in conjunction to Academy of International Business (AIB) 2016 Annual meeting, New Orleans, USA, June 27-30 with members that have attended the workshop in Sigtuna and other interested scholars who could not attend the workshop in order to discuss panel session to be held at European International Business Academy conference in December and special journal issue on this subject.

-Arranged a panel session "Social value creation in MNCs" at 42nd annual conference of the European International Business Academy (EIBA), Vienna university of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria, December 2-4, 2016. Panel discussant included professors from Villanova University, P.A. USA; University of Manchester, UK; University of Birmingham, UK; Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland and Uppsala University, Sweden.

The projects important results are:

-Article titled "Disentangling the Involvement of Multinational Corporations in Social Innovation: The Issue of Knowledge, Power and Embeddedness" accepted to be present at Academy of International Business 2017 Annual conference July 2-5.

-Special Issue on "Social value creation in MNEs" in Critical Perspectives on International Business journal with approximate date of publication, Issue 3, 2018.

-Literature review on social innovation in MNCs in working progress to be sent for publication under autumn 2017.