The Handbook of Innovation and Services
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The Handbook of Innovation and Services

A Multi-disciplinary Perspective

Edited by Faïz Gallouj and Faridah Djellal

This Handbook brings together 49 international specialists to address an issue of increasing importance for the world’s post-industrial economies; innovation as it relates to services.
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Chapter 9: Social Innovation, Social Enterprise and Services

Denis Harrisson, Juan-Luis Klein and Paul Leduc Browne


Denis Harrisson, Juan-Luis Klein and Paul Leduc Browne 9.1 Introduction Organizations with a social mission such as La Boussole which helps people with a criminal record to integrate into the labour market or the group Information which provides labour market integration services to motivated people by offering workshops, workplace internships, assistance with job search and personalized follow-up, are examples of social innovation, that is, initiatives taken by social actors to respond to a need while being supported through public recognition. Indeed, these particular initiatives are supported by Emploi-Québec, a government agency that grants financial support to this type of organization. Social innovation in Quebec is also transmitted through the Beaubien movie theatre, a cultural non-profit organization (NPO), or TOHU, the City of Circus Arts in Montreal. The latter’s mission also includes an environmental component involving the rehabilitation of a former waste disposal site located in an urban area and a social commitment to the citizens of the Saint-Michel district in Montreal by contributing to the development of this district, one of the most densely populated and most disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Canada. The concept of social innovation has not been widely theorized (Harrisson and Vézina, 2006), except with regard to its managerial dimension. Research conducted on social innovation has barely started bringing out the main dimensions marking its boundaries. Several scholars have highlighted the eclectic and heterogeneous nature of social innovation (Cloutier, 2003; Goldenberg, 2004; Moulaert et al., 2005; Harrisson and Klein, 2007; Drewe et al., 2008). There is...

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