Green Innovation Processes in SMEs: Anatomy of a Learning Journey
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
R & D Management Conference 2016: From Science to Society: Innovation and Value Creation"
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
Established small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can seize business opportunities in new,
emerging sustainability-related markets. However, in contrary to start-ups dedicated to a green mission, expanding a firm?s conventional product portfolio with green products has proven to be very challenging. Indeed, green innovation processes are new to many firms and adapting to green technology, product and market contexts requires important learning efforts. This paper aims at gaining insights into the underlying process and the learning outcomes. We examined innovation processes at the micro-level using the Fireworks innovation process model and found that top management had to a) better understand its own assets and competences and b) to develop new innovation management routines related to search, selection and implementation of the innovations to be developed. However, this is not a straight-forward task as it often happens in a long-term exploratory process without guarantee for (quick) success and can involve important setbacks. Therefore, for conventional technology SMEs, a central difficulty is to engage on this trial-and-error learning journey to better understand how it can, based on its assets and competences, develop green product innovations.