A TBL Approach Based Theoretical Framework for Measuring Social Innovations

Rasa Dainiene, Lina Dagilienė


Purpose. The aim of this paper is to present theoretical framework for measuring value of social innovations. The paper examines measurement of social innovations in the context of their multidimensionality and the triple bottom line (TBL) approach.

Methodology. A scientific literature review and an analysis of international independent research projects on the topic of social innovations, developed by the European Commission, OECD, The Young Foundation and etc., has been done. The basis of the analysis are the theoretical frameworks for measuring value of social innovations and identification of key measurement indicators.

Results. A theoretical framework for measuring social innovations’ value through the dimensions of social needs by adapting the TBL approach is presented.

The theoretical contribution. Nowadays the relevance of innovation measurement has become a significant concern for both private and public sector not only at micro level but in mezo and macro levels as well. The core of social innovation is to meet the social needs by creating new or substantially and significantly improving or updating: products, services, processes, markets, platforms, organizational forms and business management models (Porter, Kramer, 2011; Caulier- Grice et al., 2012; Schmitz et al., 2013). Social innovation occurs within such dimensions as: demography, environment, new communities, poverty reduction, health care and welfare, ethical trade and service trends (European Commission, 2011, 2013). The value created by social innovation is shared in economical, social and environmental dimensions. The TBL was chosen as the basic approach for measuring value of social innovations because it covers all the above mentioned dimensions. Because of the same purpose “common good” the assignment of the appropriate measurement indicators can be integrated in measurement of the value of social innovation through TBL approach.

The paper expands our understanding about measuring social innovations’ value on the theoretical basis. Our analysis contributes to the development of a universal measurement model for social innovations’ value with several insights.

Practical implications. This paper presents the theoretical background that is needed in order to develop a measurement model for social innovations. The development of such framework would allow measuring value created by social innovations and its impact through the TBL approach dimensions.

Keywords: Social Innovations, Measurement, Triple Bottom Line.

Paper type: Theoretical paper.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

KTU_school_economics and business Riga Technical University
Brno University of Technology Tallinn University of Technology