Strategic collective system building by firms who launch sustainability innovations

Authors Maryse M.H. Chappin, Julia Planko, Marko P. Hekkert, Jacqueline M. Cramer
Published in Innovation studies Utrecht, working paper series #14/04
Publication date 2014
Type Lecture


The implementation of innovative sustainability technologies often requires far reaching changes of the macro environment in which the innovating firms operate. Strategic management literature describes that firms who want to commercialize an innovative technology can collaborate in networks or industry clusters to build up a favourable environment for their technology. This increases the chances of successful diffusion and adoption of the technology in society. However, the strategic management literature does not offer advice on how to strategically build up this supportive external environment. We fill this gap with complementary insights from the technological innovation systems literature. We introduce the concept of strategic collective system building. Collective system building describes processes and activities networks of actors can strategically engage in to collectively build up a favourable environment for their innovative sustainability technology. Furthermore, we develop a strategy framework for collective system building. To underpin the theoretical analysis empirically, we conducted a case study in the Dutch smart grids field. The resulting strategy framework consists of four key areas for strategy making: technology development and optimization, market creation, socio-cultural changes and coordination. Each of these key strategic areas is composed of a set of system building activities

On this publication contributed

  • Julia Planko | Researcher | Research group Building Future Cities
    Julia Planko
    • Researcher
    • Research group: Building Future Cities

Language English
Published in Innovation studies Utrecht, working paper series #14/04