You are free to choose an existing community organisation and create a social innovation for their client group or you can develop an entirely new concept that you are passionate about.
You need to consider the following issues: the common good, financial, environmental and ethical implications and implementation challenges.
Over the years, social innovation has been termed as one of the important tools in business operations because of its ability to assist organizations to attain various things such as reputation, positive customer relationships, and minimization of costs among others. Although businesses focus on better performance through revenue maximization and cost cutting, they also focus on supporting social progress and enhancing the wellbeing of the people because to attain positive performance, it is always important to value all stakeholders by engaging in activities that do not have negative impact to the society. The purpose of this report is to discuss social innovation and community engagement theory. The paper will also analyze how Walmart benefit through innovating machines that assist it to properly manage its waste. Additionally, the report will provide a SWOT, PESTLE and offer discussion on the possible funding and ethical implications of your social, and also discuss the challenges that are likely to hinder implementation of this innovation.
Social innovation and community engagement theory
According to Laurie (2011, p. 345), innovation is an essential tool in business operations in the current century. Although there are many types of innovations that contribute greatly to organizational performance, social information has been reported as among those that make companies to realize different benefits that aid them to succeed. According to Didge (2012, p. 43), social innovation comprises the new concepts, tactics, ideas and organizations that are developed to meet social needs that result from different factors such as education, health, community, and development. The aim of coming up with these ideas is to enhance and strengthen the civil society.
Although companies have realized the importance of social innovation in their operations, various aspects such as lack of finances, difficulties in adapting open innovation paradigm, lack of proper networks make some of the firms to realize challenges in implementing innovations. Diane (2015, p. 69) affirms that for managers to overcome these challenges, it is essential to conduct extensive research and also to view innovation as an activity that requires joint efforts from various stakeholders.
When an organization remain reluctant on issues that are essential in its operations, some of the key stakeholders like customers, for instance, feel that the company is only focused on revenue maximization and not on enhancing the well-being of the people who mean a lot on its performance (Buchanan 2011, p. 98). This makes most of the customers to develop a negative attitude towards the company, a situation that leads to a significant impact on its performance.
According to David & Michael (2010, p. 56), spreading social innovation is sometimes problematic in business operations and also in the social sector. One of the reasons that trigger this issue is that businesses feel everything is right when they realize substantial growth in sales revenue. They forget that for them to establish a positive relationship with the society, they should engage in social innovation to ensure their operations contribute to enhancing the wellbeing of the society.
According to Kathleen (2018, p. 123), although social innovation happens in many organizations, many promising ideas are not attained because they are either blocked by vested interests or are marginalized. The competitive forces that drive social innovation in commercial markets are either blunted or absent in the social field and therefore the absence of organizations and funds dedicated to social innovation means that too often it is a matter of luck whether ideas come fruition or displaces less effective alternatives.
Carmen (2015, p. 204) asserts that if organizations consider social innovation in their operations, a lot of them would not be experiencing some of the challenges they face. For example, most firms face low performance not because they do not have big market shares but because they do not have but the required measures to show that they value the well-being of the people around them.
To attain a successful social innovation in organizations, the management should value all ideas brought forward by employees and other stakeholders and reward those who come with the best ideas. According to Kathleen (2018, p. 127), social innovation is not an easy task because it requires the collaboration of people within an organization. This implies that the management should not underrate any contribution made by other stakeholders because they may serve a crucial role in making the activity to be successful.
Discussion of the proposed social innovation
Over the years, Walmart has been categorized among the organizations that contribute most in environmental pollution. This factor has made the company to suffer in different ways, including being subjected to legal actions that have forced it to pay huge fines. For instance, in 2013, the company was slapped with 10 million dollars in environmental fines after it was found guilty for improperly disposing of pesticides. According to Didge (2012, p. 45), social innovation is crucial especially for companies that want to enhance their relationship with the public through environmental conservation. This implies that for Walmart to avoid such incidences in the future, it should innovate machines that will assist it to have proper ways of disposing its waste.
According to John & Annette (2017, p. 58), businesses need to connect with communities and serve the society in the right way. Connecting with the people around where an organization undertakes operates cannot be attained when a company engage in activities which the community does not like. This means that if a company releases harmful substances during production, it is good to take the responsibility of ensuring the hazardous products are well managed (Didge 2012, p. 43). Innovating machines that aid in managing waste is crucial because it can help Walmart to be viewed as an organization which understands the importance of living in a good environment through having zero negative influence on the surroundings.
Innovating machines that assist this company to preserve environment can play a significant role in making customers to build long term loyalty with the organization. Mei (2014, p. 347) affirms that consumers like being associated with companies that value not only maximizing their revenue but also ensuring they take the responsibility of ensuring their operations do not pollute the environment. Through customer loyalty, it can be possible for this company to remain competitive because of increased sales revenue.
Inventing these machines can also serve as a strategy of responding to risks that are likely to affect the company in the visible future. According to Muysinaliyev (2014, p. 79), environmental pollution from industries is becoming a major concern these days and government has been establishing serious measures to combat the issue. This implies that as time goes on, there is a possibility that the available policies of addressing this issue will be replaced by serious ones that may see companies which do not consider environmental conservation in their operations being closed down. If this company invents these machines, it will avoid this risk because they will play a crucial role in ensuring the company does not release any harmful product in the environment.
Innovating this technology will also play a crucial role in assisting the company to avoid unnecessary costs. According to Raymond (2016, p. 36), various countries have set various environmental conservation measures that require organizations to ensure they manage their waste. Failing to adhere to this requirement is likely to make the company to face legal action which can, in turn, make the management to spend a lot of money in paying fines.
One of the possible strengths associated with this invention is that it will have a long-lasting positive impact on not only the company but also to the society (Laurie 2011, p. 345). This is because it will make the company to engage in proper activities by properly managing its waste.
One of the weaknesses associated with the invention of these machines is that they are likely to require repairs from time to time. This is because machines realize wear and tear when operating and therefore require maintenance
Walmart being one of the organizations associated with massive environmental pollution, the invention of these machines is likely to change the perceptions that the society holds towards this organization because they will assist its management to play a key role in environmental conservation
One of the threats that are likely to face the invention of these machines is lack of skills. The invention may also be affected by other factors such as changes in technology, lack of proper networks, lack of finances and so forth.
According to Hersey (2011, p. 67), political aspects have key implications on organizational performance. When a particular regime is changed, different things that affect businesses are likely to be implemented. For example, a change of regime may introduce strict requirements for businesses to comply with measures set to preserve the environment. This means if such requirements are set, Walmart may face a serious problem and therefore the implementation of this machines is crucial.
Pollution has a key impact on the economy of a country because it impacts some of the income generation activities (Hersey 2011, p. 71). The economy also affects business performances because it determines a lot of things that determine consumer’s decisions to purchase. For Walmart, it should focus on preserving environment as one of the ways of promoting economy which mean a lot to its performance.
Social factors have an impact on Walmart’s performance because it affects how customers influence each other to purchase from a particular organization. When the company does not come up with measures of promoting environmental conservation, it means that consumers will have a negative attitude toward the company and will, therefore, influence each other not to purchase from the firm
Technology keeps changing and therefore is likely to affect Walmart’s decision to implement these machines.
In every country, there are various legal measures set to ensure organizations properly dispose of their industrial waste. This means that these inventing these machines will play a crucial role in assisting this company to adhere to the legal requirements.
Environment conservation is crucial because it has a significant impact on various things including the health of human beings. This means that Walmart’s lack of preserving the surrounding may make the organization to face serious challenges especially in relating to the public.
Implementing this innovation will require the organization to spend money in undertaking several things. For example, as MManfred (2015, p. 26) asserts, innovation is not an easy task and therefore requires organizations to be willing to spend money in doing research to identify the likely implications of the new inventions. The company will also be required to incur costs in financing various activities involved in the implementation process.
Implementation of this machines will also have an ethical implication. According to Paul & Neil (2017, p. 69), organizations should focus on not only realizing good performance through increased sales revenues but should also engage in doing what is right. If Walmart continues to pollute the environment, the consumers will feel that the company is not ethical and this may cause a serious harm to the organization (Hersey 2011, p. 68). Innovating this machines will play a key role in making the company to do what is right and what the public expects from the organization.
Although implementation of these machines may seem simple, there are various challenges that are likely to affect the process. For example, being a project that requires time and money to be utilized, there is a possibility that the company may face challenges in providing funds that are sufficient for undertaking various activities required for the process to be successful.
The other key challenge that is likely to affect implementation of these machines is change resistance. According to Hersey (2011, p. 66), organizations fear to implement new machines because of reasons that they cannot explain. Change resistance, in this case, may result from the management or employees. In some cases, the reasons for resistance change include fear of losing jobs, fear of losing power, among others.
The other implementation challenge that may affect this invention is lack of skills. Rossman (2012, p. 43) asserts that innovation requires various skills that are based on creativity. To come up with machines that can assist Walmart to properly manage its waste, the company will need to have employees who are creative or hire other people who have proper skills that can assist the process to be successful. In some cases, organizations lack people who are creative or sometimes have them but fail to notice their presence because of various factors such as lack of being given chances to express their thoughts, internal politics, and lack of motivation, among other factors.
The implementation of these machines can also be affected by lack of research to identify various factors such as the benefits that are likely to be realized, some of the barriers that may affect the process, how to overcome the barriers and so forth. Babli (2014, p. 78) affirms that organizations need to undertake extensive research when they plan to introduce new machines to avoid failures. Lack of conducting research can make the organization to lose a lot of money and fail to realize the benefits of this invention.
From this report, it is clear that Walmart needs to invent machines that can assist it to properly manage its waste. Over the years, this company has been classified among those that contribute most in industrial pollution and therefore it needs to come up with proper ways of addressing the issue. Investing in social innovation through innovating these machines can assist the company in various ways, like for instance, relating well with its customers, enhancing its reputation, avoiding legal actions and unnecessary costs, among others. To implement these machines, the management needs to allocate enough money to fund the process, conduct research to identify possible benefits and barriers, encourage creativity and so forth.
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