Activity Sets in Multi-Organizational Ecologies: A Project-Level Perspective on Sustainable Energy Innovations
Technological Forecasting and Social Change (2015), Volume 90, pp. 444-455
43 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2014 Last revised: 9 Dec 2014
Date Written: April 1, 2014
Complex innovations involve multi-organizational ecologies consisting of a myriad of different actors. This study investigates how innovation activities can be interpreted in the context of multi-organizational ecologies. Taking a project-level perspective, this study proposes a typology of four activity sets that are relevant in this context: strategic predevelopment, engineering, commercialization, and project management. The authors use archival and survey data on government-funded sustainable energy projects in the Netherlands to study the validity and relevance of the typology and show that the typology has discriminant and convergent validity. Results on the prevalence of the activity sets show that all four activity sets occur in sustainable energy projects, but to differing degrees. Furthermore, the typology is relevant because it helps to explain differences in innovation performance for complex innovations. Two activity sets – strategic predevelopment activities and commercialization activities – have significant and positive effects on innovation performance, whereas the two other activity sets – engineering and project management – do not. The data show that for sustainable energy projects, commercialization activities are often insufficient, but important to reach high innovation performance.
Keywords: Complex innovations, Multi-organizational ecologies, Innovation activities, Innovation systems, Sustainable energy innovations
JEL Classification: O32, Q49, M10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation