Why would an academic project incentivised towards scientific publications be repurposed to become a medical platform for responsible innovation? Patient Innovation, a non-profit medical platform that focuses on the sharing and dissemination of innovations to find solutions for rare and chronic diseases, was initially set up as an academic research project. However, team members reframed their core purpose from conducting research on user innovation to providing global access to these innovations and creating societal impact. Using a framing lens to understand organisational repurposing, we illuminate how serendipitous inspiration, moral emotions and the power of socially conscious users and catalysts drove this emergent reframing of core purpose and develop a model of organisational repurposing. We show how a frame drift towards a change in purpose occurs spontaneously in interactions, as actors frame and reframe situations and feel inspired and morally motivated to transcend their immediate self-interests and serve collective goals.
Bibliographical notePublished online: 25 May 2021.
- Grand challenges
- Moral emotions
- Responsible innovation