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Social economy and the fourth sector, base and protagonist of social innovation

  • Julio Jiménez Escobar


    (ETEA - Universidad de Córdoba)

  • Alfonso Carlos Morales Gutiérrez


    (ETEA - Universidad de Córdoba)

The regeneration of the current economic system demands a new kind of innovation whose patterns and participants differ from the purely technological paradigm. Thus has social innovation arisen from different political and academic spheres as a phenomenon connected in a myriad of ways to the positions postulated in the organizational and business models that form the social economy. The aim of this paper is to explain these connections and potentials by defining a new protagonist in the socioeconomic sphere, the so-called "fourth sector". This is a new group of organizations and business models that is growing and adapting at an intersection between the public, private and social sectors, and that is being called upon to lead the new processes of social innovation. Their practices cross traditional sector boundaries and create new social relationships among stakeholders in order to develop innovative activities to meet social and / or environmental needs.

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Article provided by CIRIEC-España in its journal CIRIEC-España, revista de economía pública, social y cooperativa.

Volume (Year): (2011)
Issue (Month): 73 (October)
Pages: 33-60

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Handle: RePEc:cic:revcir:y:2011:i:73:p:33-60
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