Features of Social Innovation in Relation to Insertion by Economic Activity

By Patrick Gianfaldoni

What is the meaning of social innovation for Insertion by Economic Activity (IEA)? Currently, public policies are imposing a pattern of rationalization in this sector. Prescribed standards are affecting the specific capacities and strategies of private operators such as Work Integration Social Enterprises (WISEs) due to the growing effect of public markets and employment activation patterns. IEA is thus characterized by a hybrid governance system, with corporative, competitive, and partnership-based governance principles related, respectively, to three types of economic rationales: protected economies, market economies, and cooperative economies. In this problematic context, the paper analyzes the typical features of social innovation in order to highlight the favorable conditions and obstacles in the process of creating social resources. Social innovation produces "activity standards", through collective learning. However, its institutionalization leads to conflicts between prescribed standards and activity standards, which largely explains the existence of the institutional arrangements implemented by micro-institutions. JEL Codes: A13, A14


  • insertion par l’activité économique
  • entreprises sociales d’insertion par le travail (ESI)
  • innovation sociale
  • action publique
  • normes prescrites
  • normes d’activité
  • Insertion by Economic Activity
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