Social economy organizations as social innovation intermediaries: Their contribution… and limitations

By Paul Muller, Corinne Tanguy

Social economy organizations are commonly considered as key actors of social innovation at the local level not only because they generate it, but because they act as intermediaries coordinating different categories of stakeholders. This paper contributes to the literature on innovation intermediaries by analyzing the contribution and the limitations of social economy organizations to this task. We apply this theoretical framework to a study appraising the role of a wine coop for promoting a social innovation related to estate transmission in Burgundy’s Mâconnais vineyard. We show that the coop fulfils its intermediation task thanks to its central position in the local relational network and by supporting proximity development among stakeholders. However, it faces limitations in its action that are consecutive to strategic choices as well as to evolutions in its local environment. Those limitations highlight the need for a coordinated intermediation effort with other, public, institutions. JEL Codes: O31, O39, Q15, R30

  • Social Innovation
  • Innovation Intermediary
  • Social Networks
  • Wine Economics
  • Rural Estate Transmission
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