Social Impact Measurement in Incremental Social Innovation

Erica Kim Man Lee*, Ho Lee, Chi Hing Kee, Chi Hong Kwan, Chui Ha Ng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


While social innovation is a growing phenomenon, social impact measurement has also become an important practice in the domain of social innovation. It is because social innovation initiatives are usually funded and those who execute the initiatives are usually held accountable to the funders. There are many approaches to social impact measurement in social innovation and no professional standards need to be adhered to. It is up to those who fund and those who are funded to come up with a consensus on what should be measured in the social impact measurement (SIM) exercise. Also, little research has focused on the conceptual nature of social impact measurement in the domain of social innovation. To fill this gap in the literature, an exploratory study was conducted in a bid to reveal theoretical insight into the conceptual nature of SIM in the domain of social innovation. This study makes a reference to Nicholls’ three levels of social innovation in decomposing social innovation. This paper proposes that utilization-focused evaluation be used as a conceptual principle of social impact measurement in incremental social innovation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-86
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Social Entrepreneurship
Issue number1
Early online date4 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Development
  • Economics and Econometrics

User-Defined Keywords

  • funders
  • Social impact measurement
  • social innovation
  • the third sector organizations
  • utilization-focused evaluation


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