UCL School of Management

Research project

Social Innovation: Climate Change & Human Rights


The tenet of this project is to understand how organisations enable or fail in their attempts to drive social innovation in adverse institutional contexts. This interest shows in several research papers, including an analysis of we can better understand and study grand challenges such as climate change (Gümüsay, Claus, Amis, 2020) and a study on how a collective of international and national organisations changed the field around the practice of child marriage in Indonesia (Claus & Tracey, 2020). Studying such culturally sensitive contexts make qualitative fieldwork a difficult but rewarding experience (Claus, Lodge, Howard-Grenville, & De Rond, 2018). 


The findings of this research project may serve as ‘strategy toolkits’ for managers and organisation trying to introduce and drive social innovation and social change. Social innovation and issues around poverty, inequality, and climate change will become increasingly important in our globalized world, especially in correspondence with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of the Agenda 2030. This research project seeks to inform policy and come up with creative organisational solutions to tackle some of the most deep-seated social issues of today’s world, contributing to that the SDGs will be met.

Selected publications

Claus, L. J., De Rond, M., Howard-Grenville, J., & Lodge, J. (2018). When fieldwork hurts: on the lived experience of conducting research in unsettling contexts. In J. Mair, J. Amis, T. Zilber (Eds.), Research in the Sociology of Organizations, on ‘The Production of Managerial Knowledge and Organizational Theory: New Approaches to Writing, Producing and Consuming Theory’. Research in the Sociology of Organizations.
Claus, L., & Tracey, P. (2020). Making Change from Behind a Mask: How Organizations Challenge Guarded Institutions by Sparking Grassroots Activism. Academy of Management Journal, amj.2017.0507. doi:10.5465/amj.2017.0507 [link]
Gümüsay, A. A., Claus, L., & Amis, J. (2020). Engaging with Grand Challenges: An Institutional Logics Perspective. Organization Theory, 1, 1-20. doi:10.1177/2631787720960487 [link]
Last updated Tuesday, 1 December 2020


Research groups

Strategy & Entrepreneurship

Research areas

Organization theory

Research topics

Innovation; Institutional logics; Entrepreneurship; Intra-organizational networks; Power