Measuring Social Impact

Measuring Social Impact

Research Prize for Social Market Economy of the Roman Herzog Institute goes to Heidelberg organisation theorist

The 2021 Research Prize for Social Market Economy of 20,000 euros has been awarded to Dr Gorgi Krlev for his research on measuring the added value that organisations create for society. With this award, the Roman Herzog Institute honours his doctoral dissertation, which the organisation theorist from the Centre for Social Investment (CSI) at Heidelberg University submitted to the University of Oxford and to Ruperto Carola. The prize, endowed with a total of 35,000 euros, is awarded to young researchers who engage with the future of the social market economy in their doctoral theses or habilitation research. Dr Krlev was awarded the first prize on 30 June 2021.

In his research Gorgi Krlev is concerned with social impact measurement - with measuring the contribution of organisations to society, in particular through social entrepreneurship and social innovation, independently of whether the organisations are non-profit, for-profit or state-run. "Economic added value can be measured relatively easily. Profits, losses and economic capital are clearly calculable factors," says the Heidelberg scholar. A far greater challenge, Dr Krlev says, is to identify and measure social, cultural and political impacts of organisations.

In his doctoral dissertation Gorgi Krlev investigated behavioural training courses at schools, a political web platform and community-oriented housing models as to their social impact. In so doing, he was able to deliver practical suggestions on how to tackle violence among young people, address political apathy or mitigate loneliness in old age. "Questions about social impact and societal productivity are becoming increasingly relevant, and not just to companies and social organisations," he says. "They may also become the basis of a progressive economic and social policy."

Gorgi Krlev studied business and management at the University of Mannheim and earned his doctorate in 2018 from the University of Oxford. Since 2011 he has been a researcher at the Centre for Social Investment at the Max-Weber-Institute of Sociology. Dr Krlev has received several international awards for his research and teaching performance, including from the Academy of Management in New York (USA) and the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

The Roman Herzog Institute is dedicated to an ethically grounded social market economy focusing on the common good. With its research prize it acknowledges ideas and studies engaging academically with this topic. The award ceremony for the 2021 research prize took place at the Deutsches Museum in Munich.


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