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Keeping sustainable innovation on a leash? Exploring incumbents’ institutional strategies

Magda M. Smink, Marko P. Hekkert and Simona O. Negro

Business Strategy and the Environment, 2015, vol. 24, issue 2, 86-101

Abstract: This research aims to identify the institutional strategies of incumbent firms with regard to sustainable energy innovations that threaten their interests. This exploratory study contributes to the multi-level perspective by providing new insights into niche–regime interaction. The focus on actor behavior in transitions is informed by literature from institutional theory and strategic management. Based on semi-structured interviews with actors and on documents related to LED lighting and biofuels in the Netherlands, this study identified a preliminary set of empirical strategies: providing information and arguments to policy makers and the general public, as well as strategically setting technical standards. Incumbents are in a position to significantly influence the innovation's development by employing these strategies; thus temporarily keeping sustainable innovation on a leash. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment

Date: 2015
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