Original Research - Special Collection: HTS 75th Anniversary Maake Masango Dedication

A critical analysis of social innovation: A qualitative exploration of a religious organisation

Alex Antonites, Wentzel J. Schoeman, Willem F.J. van Deventer
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 4 | a5282 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i4.5282 | © 2019 Alex Antonites, W.J. Schoeman, Willem van Deventer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 October 2018 | Published: 23 May 2019

About the author(s)

Alex Antonites, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Wentzel J. Schoeman, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Willem F.J. van Deventer, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

New challenges are constantly emerging in the social sector in South Africa. Various social (non-profit) organisations are developing new and innovative ways to accommodate these challenges and to meet social needs. The aim of this research article is to measure the current social innovation capacity of the Dutch Reformed Church (DR Church), with reference to innovation capabilities, to determine at what level the church is meeting new social needs. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect data from six different congregations and a governing body in the Pretoria area, South Africa, was included. Twelve participants were interviewed between August and October 2017. The participants, consisting of ministers and board members, each held a management position. The social innovation capacity measurement of the DR Church showed that the organisation was successfully developing new ways to serve as a social agent in society. There are obstacles that prohibit the DR Church from developing new innovative ways to meet the social needs of its society, for example, entrepreneurial, developmental and leadership change capacities. Recommendations are made to maximise social innovation capacity of the managers (ministers and board members).


Keywords

Innovation capacity; Innovation capabilities; Social entrepreneurship; Social innovation; Social impact

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