The Capacity of Social Enterprises in Driving for Architectural Innovations

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Tapone Nimsawaeng
Singh Intrachooto


Successful architectural innovations generally originate from social enterprises. This observation may have impact on strategic management through society-centered methods for managing complex social and environmental issues.

This issue has raised questions in the architecture and construction fields about whether social enterprises are capable of driving for rapid innovative development. Therefore, this research is aimed at studying the capabilities of social enterprises in developing innovations.

This research employed a qualitative research process reinforced by quantitative data analysis. The researcher collected data from related documents to survey architectural achievements receiving world-class awards and gaining acceptance for innovative achievements in order to analyze and determine whether many social enterprises have steered architectural developments to the point where awards were won (indicating innovative achievements).

The awarded businesses are categorized as follows:  1) social enterprises; 2) general businesses and 3) charity organizations.  According to the findings, social enterprises are more capable of leading to innovation development than general business organizations and charity organizations. In particular, proof from the Holcim Awards shows social enterprises to be capable of passing selection rounds and able to win five world-class gold medal awards (100%) from only 65 achievements (30.23%) of 215 achievements entered into the first round of the competition. The findings show the capacity of social enterprises in driving for architectural innovations.


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