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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1507946
 
 

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Challenges and Trade-Offs in Corporate Innovation for Climate Change


Jonatan Pinkse


Grenoble Ecole de Management

Ans Kolk


University of Amsterdam - University of Amsterdam Business School

November 17, 2009

Business Strategy and the Environment, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp. 261-272, 2010

Abstract:     
The international debate on addressing global climate change increasingly points at the role that companies can play by using their innovative capacity. However, up till now companies have been rather cautious in taking decisive steps in facilitating an innovation-based transition towards a low-carbon economy. This paper conceptually explores some key challenges related to innovating for climate change, in the broader context of technological change, complementary capability development and sociotechnical systems to point at trade-offs to be made by companies. We adopt a firm-level perspective to discuss a) how companies strike a balance between further development and deployment of emissions-reducing technologies, in view of the fact that there is no ‘silver bullet’ solution for climate change yet; b) how and in what way low-carbon solutions are brought to the market, by targeting consumers in either mainstream markets or niche markets; c) to what extent the success or failure of climate change innovations depends on companies’ bargaining power and willingness to cooperate with others. The paper shows how several industry and firm-specific factors - technological dynamism, complementarity between new technologies and existing assets, and ownership of specialized assets for commercialization - influence how companies strike a balance between the different trade-offs and deal with the uncertainty created by the current ‘climate policy deadlock’.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 18

Keywords: Climate Change, Innovation, Technology Management, Capabilities, Sociotechnical System, Corporate Strategy

JEL Classification: D21, F23, G28, G38, H71, H77, K32, L1, L2, L5, M1, M14, O13, O3, O31, O32, O33, O38, Q2, Q4

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Date posted: November 17, 2009 ; Last revised: June 12, 2014

Suggested Citation

Pinkse, Jonatan and Kolk, Ans, Challenges and Trade-Offs in Corporate Innovation for Climate Change (November 17, 2009). Business Strategy and the Environment, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp. 261-272, 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1507946

Contact Information

Jonatan Pinkse
Grenoble Ecole de Management ( email )
Grenoble Cedex, 38003
France
Ans Kolk (Contact Author)
University of Amsterdam - University of Amsterdam Business School ( email )
Roetersstraat 18
Amsterdam, 1018WB
Netherlands
+31 20 525 4289 (Phone)
+31 20 525 5281 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.anskolk.nl
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