Knowledge initiative

Knowledge Initiative on Organisations and Society (KIOS)

Ambition and objective

The Knowledge Initiative on Organisations and Society (KIOS) strives to become a leading European hub for research on how different types of organisations tackle societal challenges.

Our objective is to document and analyse organisational strategies and the role of innovation in pursuing societal progress and institutional change by developing European-based and globally-relevant research anchored in the social sciences. We facilitate research-based interactions with stakeholders across sectors to improve the practice of social innovation, inform policymaking, and inspire a next generation of decision makers.

Path to impact

The ambition of the initiative is to develop knowledge on social innovation and organisational strategies that is portable across geographies, sectors and issue domains.

  • We develop knowledge that is relevant and at the same time has the potential to advance or recast existing theory and practice.
  • We convene scholarly events and exchanges between research and practice to seed and disseminate knowledge.
  • We interact with strategic partners to define and refine relevant areas for research.
  • We include, support and empower the next generation of scholars and educators to carry the torch further (master’s students, PhD students and postdocs).
  • We leverage institutional ties to the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, the Global Innovation for Impact Lab and the Social Innovation and Change Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School and various institutions in Europe to conduct research in a collaborative spirit.

We are impactful when the knowledge we develop enables more robust and integrated approaches to tackle societal challenges.

Articulating the problem

Despite increasing attention to social innovation in Europe by organisations within the public, social and business sector we lack a solid basis of evidence and knowledge that allows us to probe well-intended solutions and adapt approaches to local institutional contexts.

Initiative director

  • Johanna Mair, Professor for Organization, Strategy and Leadership

Faculty and researchers

  • Christian Seelos, Visiting Scholar at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS) at Stanford University and the Leo Tindemans Chair of Business Model Innovation at KU Leuven

  • Georg Reischauer, Local Project Manager and Research Associate for i-share

  • Nikolas Rathert, Postdoctoral Researcher for Organizational Capacity for Continuous Innovation (OCCI) 3.0