An evolutionist and conventionalist approach to sustainable development: The case of for-profit public network services

Par Céline Merlin-Brogniart


A growing number of firms are beginning to integrate sustainable development practices into their activities. This article uses both the analytical framework of the economics of convention, as well as that of contemporary evolutionist theory, to present an overview of the degree to which these activities contribute towards this new challenge. The economics of convention helps to account for the compromises proposed to make the different spheres of sustainable development mutually compatible. These compromises are then expressed in evolutionary routines which will be used by firms on a daily basis. This theoretical reflection is accompanied by empirical research on for-profit public network services.
JEL Codes: Q01, L2, O14, L87, L9


  • sustainable development
  • conventionalist approach
  • evolutionist approach
  • for-profit public services
  • innovation
  • indicators
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