Using Stakeholder Dialogue as a Source for New Ideas - a Dynamic Capability Underlying Sustainable Innovation
21 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2006
Date Written: May 2006
This paper attempts to gain a deeper understanding of the firm's ability to integrate stakeholder insights into the process of organisational innovation within the context of sustainable development. Given the early stage of empirical research on the topic, we used an exploratory case study of two Spanish companies that have successfully learned from stakeholder dialogue and have generated innovations that are beneficial both to the company and to sustainable development in general. The evidence from the two case studies suggests that there are two simple capabilities - stakeholder dialogue and stakeholder knowledge integration for generating innovations in accordance with stakeholder needs. Whereas stakeholder dialogue leverages organisational resources that promote two-way communication, transparency and appropriate feedback to stakeholders, stakeholder knowledge integration relies on non-hierarchical structures, flexibility and openness to change. The paper sheds some light on the under-researched issue of linking stakeholder dialogue and sustainable innovation, and contributes to opening the black box of dynamic capabilities and advancing in the understanding of this fundamental organisational concept.
Keywords: Sustainable Development, Stakeholders, Innovation, Capabilities, Spain
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By Paul C. Nutt