Radical innovation for sustainability : the power of strategy and open innovation

Kennedy, Steve and Whiteman, Gail and van den Ende, Jan (2017) Radical innovation for sustainability : the power of strategy and open innovation. Long Range Planning, 50 (6). pp. 712-725. ISSN 0024-6301

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Sustainability oriented innovation continues to garner increasing attention as the answer to how firms may improve environmental and/or social performance while simultaneously finding competitive advantage. Radically innovating new products and services to replace harmful market incumbents is central to this thesis, yet studies to date have found it to be a highly expensive process with high degrees of uncertainty and risk. Extant research however has largely neglected to examine the details of the actual product innovation process itself and has under appreciated the influence of corporate strategic context. Our paper addresses this gap in the literature through an in-depth case study of a sustainability oriented innovation process for a radical new product within a multinational life sciences company, DSM. Our findings identify five critical organizational practices through which strategic direction has enabled the innovation process: technology super-scouting throughout the value chain, search heuristics that favor radical sustainability solutions, integration of sustainability performance metrics in product development, championing the value chain to build demand for radical sustainability oriented product innovation, and harnessing the benefits of open innovation.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Long Range Planning
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Long Range Planning. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Long Range Planning, 50, 6, 2017 DOI: 10.1016/j.lrp.2016.05.004
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? financestrategy and managementgeography, planning and development ??
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Deposited On:
06 Feb 2017 14:54
Last Modified:
05 May 2024 23:37