Exploring sustainable innovation in "DIRTY Environmental" unsustainable markets

Raman, Adam, Davies, Iain, Elson, Paul and Kraatz, Kevin (2014) Exploring sustainable innovation in "DIRTY Environmental" unsustainable markets. In: Academy of Marketing (AM) Conference 2014: Marketing Dimensions: People, Places and Spaces; 7-10 Jul 2014, Bournemouth. U.K.. (Unpublished)


Many initiatives designed at encouraging consumers to use less resources or organisations to produce less environmentally damaging products and processes have failed or have been only slowly adopted. This article examines two case studies with the first case examining the issues of how a major environmental waste management company manages the development of new, innovative hazardous environmental waste management solutions with a major pharmaceutical client and thesecond case evaluating the issues surrounding a major European automobile manufacturer developing and launching an innovative range of environmentally friendly automobiles. The aim of the study is to identify how sustainability ideas, products and processes are developed within these two industry settings. In both cases end consumers play a very limited role in sustainability innovation development and are rarely consulted or even aware of the organisations decision making. This reflects a one sided supplier-push form of new product development long since defunct in other areas of innovation, which may go some way to explaining their lack of diffusion. We also find however that sustainability innovations are founded on complex interacting network processes involving many parties with differing objectives. In particular we find a recurring negative relationship between regulators and sustainable innovation diffusion.

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