Expectations and Actor Strategies in the Field of ‘Green’ Vehicles
Posted: 22 Mar 2011
Date Written: December 31, 2010
The mobility system is increasingly under pressure, primarily due to its tremendous environmental impact. The challenges to cope with – climate change, problematic air quality, depleting fossil resources – raise new requirements for the current transportation system. Therefore, innovation at several levels is necessary to transform the current automotive based transportation system into a more sustainable one.
In recent years a number of approaches have been developed to understand and support such sustainable innovation journeys. Within this approaches expectations and visions have been identified as being crucial for the dynamics of innovation journeys. However, it remains to be clarified why actors engage/disengage in innovation journeys. As a consequence, the underlying causes of the dynamics remain vague.
In this paper we will focus on the actor level of innovation journeys, and propose a new way to the understanding of actor strategies: We suggest focusing on the analysis of the expectations actors are holding, and basing their strategies on. In order to systematize the different kind of expectations we will use the multi-level perspective (MLP) of transition studies to analyze the expectations actors were holding.
Our case studies of two large car manufacturers and the German government as a policy actor show that the car manufactures refer strongly to expectations at the regime level, while expectations at the socio-technical landscape level appear to be crucial for the strategy of the German government.
Keywords: expectations, fuel cells, innovation systems, actor strategies
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