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Moving beyond the tensions in open environmental innovation towards a holistic perspective

Tiziana Russo Spena and Nadia Di Paola

Business Strategy and the Environment, 2020, vol. 29, issue 5, 1961-1974

Abstract: This paper analyses factors determining open environmental innovation (EI) and explores the possibility of embracing their tensions to achieve integrated environmental strategic goals. Building on recent literature linking open innovation and EI, the study assumes open EI strategic goals as a multidimensional construct based on the “synergistic and interwoven nature” of four identified enabling factors, that is, partners, knowledge, benefits, and motivations. A fuzzy‐set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) based on Boolean algebra is conducted to analyse a set of 186 European companies operating in the telecommunication and information and communication technology (ICT) service industries. Making important theoretical, managerial, and policy contributions, this paper offers insights into the key factors enabling open EI and the tensional relationships within and between them. In doing so, it captures the non‐linear effects among these factors and the strategic goals related to an open EI strategy. It also suggests how the paradox theory might help in addressing the tensional dilemma of open EI strategy.

Date: 2020
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