Why do companies pursue collaborative circular oriented innovation?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We investigate why companies collaborate within the circular oriented innovation process. The purpose is to understand what motives trigger collaborative circular oriented innovation, as well as conditions, drivers and barriers. First, we define circular oriented innovation building on sustainable oriented innovation literature. Subsequently, we investigate 11 leading circular economy companies operating within the Netherlands, who developed collaborative circular oriented innovation activities. 'Hard' and 'soft' dimensions for innovation are identified and applied to delineate the drivers and barriers for collaborative circular oriented innovation. Our findings indicate that collaborations are conducted by entrepreneurially-minded actors through sharing a vision, enthusiasm, and crucially, a credible proposition for a circular economy. Furthermore, collaboration is sought early, to co-develop the problem and solution space and integrate disparate knowledge from across the value network, to mitigate increased complexity. Motives to collaborate vary between personal and organisational, and intrinsic and extrinsic levels. Collaborations start based on a relational basis between 'CE front-runners' to advance knowledge through experimentation. 'Soft' challenges to advance collaborations towards the competitive remain around culture, and the mindset to share rewards and risks. Without suitable solutions to these challenges, collaborative circular oriented innovation could remain underdeveloped within the transition towards the systemic level.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Delft University of Technology
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economics

Keywords

  • Circular drivers and barriers, Circular economy, Circular experimentation, Circular oriented innovation, Collaborative innovation, Sustainable oriented innovation
Original languageEnglish
Article number635
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 25
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes