Sustainable Innovation through Commitment and Engagement: The Example of SunFuel

Ursula Weisenfeld, Ulrich Meyer, Eeva Korjamo, O.A.M. Fisscher, Astrid Hunck-Meiswinkel

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic

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Sustainable innovation is to satisfy not only customers’ needs and the innovating firm’s goals, it also should meet social and environmental targets. These manifold requirements lead to increased complexity and risk, often making collaboration amongst firms necessary. However, multiple targets and multiple partners may threaten enduring commitment to the innovation. Therefore, our research question is, how to manage a firm’s own commitment and promote its partners’ commitment to a sustainable innovation. This is particularly relevant if several technological paths exist because firms’ histories and present states differ and thus companies may come to favour alternative solutions. For a company intending to invest into a sustainable solution it is not only important to assess its own competencies and interests but also to understand the partners’ positions vis-à-vis the innovation. We propose: First, at an early stage, when selecting a technological path, to screen three levels of influence on partners’ strategies: firm's competencies & orientation, industry background and regulatory system and Second, to engage with partners continuously, taking changing perceptions and interests into account. SunFuel is used as an example to demonstrate the usefulness of our framework.
Original languageUndefined
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2004
EventR&D Management Conference 2004 - Sesimbra, Portugal
Duration: 6 Jul 20049 Jul 2004


ConferenceR&D Management Conference 2004


  • IR-73369

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