The Social Innovation Think Tank: what does social-symbolic work mean for social innovators?

The Social Innovation Think Tank: what does social-symbolic work mean for social innovators?

The Social Innovation Think Tank

The Social Innovation Think Tank series explores the power of social innovation in the modern world, sharing its necessity and capacity to challenge the status quo.

The monthly series is hosted by Dr Neil Stott and Professor Paul Tracey, co-directors of the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation.

They interview academics from many disciplines, who discuss their motivation to strive towards to a more equitable and sustainable world.

EPISODE TWO – What does social-symbolic work mean for social innovators?

In the second episode of The Social Innovation Think Tank, our guests – Professor Nelson Phillips from the Imperial College Business School and Professor Tom Lawrence from the Saïd Business School – join Dr Neil Stott and Professor Paul Tracey.

Professor Phillips and Professor Lawrence are the co-authors of the recently published “Constructing Organizational Life – How Social-Symbolic Work Shapes Selves, Organizations, and Institutions”.

In What does social-symbolic work mean for social innovators? our guests discuss social-symbolic work amid the current global issues, with the dominants being Black Lives Matter movement and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“[…] it was originally stimulated by this parallel observation in our own research that when we tried to do research on institutions, we kept needing to bring in other theoretical languages to absorb the complexity of environments we were looking at. […]. But when we started to talk about it and develop it, we realised – well – if we’re going to try and suggest that these different forms of work constitute some kind of family or have some family resemblance, we needed to have some more developed, elaborate understanding of what the overall concept of social-symbolic work would be”.

Prof. Tom Lawrence

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