Patterns of Motivations and External Collaborations for Eco-innovations: A case study approach

Merete Anette Holmberg

Student thesis: Master thesis


Eco-innovation has in recent years gained huge recognition in the innovation field and ecoinnovation has become its own field of study (Diaz-Garcia et al. 2015). Most research has investigated the drivers of eco-innovations and found that regulation is one of the driving forces of eco-innovation. However, Recent studies have changed focus to the important role external collaboration plays for eco-innovations. Yet, the eco-innovation field is considered as a young field of study and more in-depth studies have been called for (Klewitz & Hansen 2014; Diaz-Garcia et al. 2015). This thesis has investigated the patterns of motivations and external collaborations of ecoinnovations. It has explored the topic through an in-depth case study method, where three companies have been analysed. These companies are all players in the consumer goods industry but operate in diverse and high polluting industries. The patterns of motivations and external collaborations have been studied through three steps. First, the author has identified the motivations behind the three companies eco-innovation activities. Secondly, the author has identified the ecoinnovation typologies these companies encompass in order to thirdly, analyse the external collaborations these companies have engaged in with their eco-innovation initiatives. This paper has consequently found that the main motivation for the companies to initiate ecoinnovations is competitiveness. To reach a competitive advantage the companies have initiated three types of eco-innovations. These eco-innovations have required the companies to work with both primary and secondary stakeholders to gain external knowledge. This paper finds that all companies work closely with their competitors, which is a rather surprising finding as their main motivation is competitiveness. This underlines the revolutionary impact eco-innovations have on the basic capitalist assumptions.

EducationsMSc in Management of Innovation and Business Development, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages85
SupervisorsJens Frøslev Christensen