Purpose: This paper aims to analyse how corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate social innovation (CSI) are implemented in the integration of employees with disabilities (EWD) and how they differ in practice. Design/methodology/approach: This study implemented a qualitative approach through a comparative study of two representative cases in Colombia, using a cross-case analysis technique. Findings: Four characteristics differentiate CSR and CSI in the labour integration of EWDs: altruistic vs goal-oriented, inclusive vs egalitarian, humanistic vs transformative and sympathetic vs synergetic, relating motivations, practices, impact and collaborations correspondingly. Originality/value: To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is one of the first studies to explore the conceptual (theoretical) and instrumental (practical) base of CSR and CSI, undertaking business strategies to integrate EWDs in the labour market in the context of a developing country, Colombia. Examining EWDs’ labour integration represents an original approach to understanding how CSI can be considered an evolution of CSR.