2012 NC Social Innovation Survey Report

We are pleased to announce the release of Innovation at Work for Carolina Communities, a report on the 2012 North Carolina Social Innovation Survey.


The North Carolina Social Innovation Survey examines the role of socially innovative practices in organizations across the state. In the fall and winter of 2012, 1,004 organizations were surveyed about their business practices. Respondents were asked a series of questions regarding their responses to the recession and their employee, community, and environmental practices.

The report looks at responses from 743 for-profit, nonprofit, and hybrid organizations across 71 North Carolina counties.

Report Highlights:

  • Significant social innovation is taking place within organizations across North Carolina, spanning geographic, industry, and legal structure boundaries.
  • Half of respondents were engaged in the process of business innovation, with no correlation to geographic area, industry, or legal structure.
  • Specifically in response to the 2008 recession, 77% indicated increasing operating efficiency, while 53% decreased employment. Thirty percent increased environmental practices, 20% increased community assistance, and 14% increased support for employees.
  • Responses from manufacturing firms differ from those of other industries on several factors. Manufacturing firms are more likely to engage in environmental practices, and less likely to engage with their local community.
  • There is wide variation between the practices organizations engage in and the terms they use to describe themselves. A scale to classify social innovation is presented.

The full report can be found at: http://maryannfeldman.web.unc.edu/files/2013/09/SI-Report_.pdf

For questions regarding the survey or report please contact agraddy@live.unc.edu.