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Sustainability‐oriented capabilities for eco‐innovation: Meeting the regulatory, technology, and market demands

Pelin Demirel and Effie Kesidou ()

Business Strategy and the Environment, 2019, vol. 28, issue 5, 847-857

Abstract: Despite consensus in the literature that regulation, technology push, and market pull drive eco‐innovation (EI), evidence remains limited on the diverse firm capabilities needed to boost EI. Building on the natural‐resource‐based view of the firm and the EI literature, this paper posits that firms need to renew and realign their capabilities, and ultimately develop distinctive sustainability‐oriented capabilities, in order to meet the rapidly changing regulatory, technology, and market demands. Results of the analysis, based on a survey of U.K. firms, reveal that EIs are more likely to arise when firms (a) build capabilities on voluntary self‐regulation (i.e., executive driven environmental management system and corporate social responsibility) because such organizational capabilities allow them to address increasing regulatory pressures; (b) invest in environmental research and development (i.e., eco‐R&D)—instead of generic research and development—because it provides them with the relevant and specific technological capabilities to tackle technology shifts towards sustainability; and (c) develop capabilities in green market sensing as such capabilities allow them to address green consumption needs.

Date: 2019
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