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Ethics of Social Innovation

The paper “Ethics of Social Innovation” by Knut Ims and Laszlo Zsolnai was published in Society and Business Review-ban (2014, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 186–194).

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the main reasons for social innovations to be successful in developing countries. In this paper, four famous cases of social innovation are studied and contrasted in the following dimensions: goals, means and skills/resources needed by the user. Exemplary social innovations do not have profit as their primary objective but emphasize social, spiritual and humanitarian goals such as minimizing suffering, empowering people and strengthening local communities.

The paper shows that sensitivity to local culture and an ethos for serving the common good are preconditions of successful and lasting social innovations by business.