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Managerial challenges in environmental innovation: case studies in the electrical equipment and automotive sectors
Linköping University, Department of Management and Economics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3164-6352
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation is a compilation of five papers that analyse and discuss the managerial challenge of environmental innovation. Environmental innovation seeks to integrate environmental features into products and thus bring new products with better environmental performance to the market. The dissertation reports on three case studies within the electrical equipment and automotive sectors. The first case refers to development of an innovative new gasoline-electric hybrid power train; the second case refers to the development of a new industrial gas turbine, comprising advanced new burner technology; and the third case describes the introduction of new technology for small-scale distributed electricity generation. On the basis of concepts and theoretical models derived from literature on innovation management, the dissertation offers two alternative ways to conceptualise environmental innovation. Firstly, environmental innovation is conceptualised as product development. This is useful to analyse the inner dynamics of R&D organisations and it hightlights the need to adapt organisations and managerial practices to the specific requirements of the development task. Secondly, environmental innovation is conceptualised as the introduction of new technology. Here, two alternative perspectives are discussed. The incumbents' perspective illustrates that environmental innovation may be perceived as a potential threat for existing manufacturers within the established industry and it is used to discuss their strategic responses. The entrants' perspective shows how the definition of early markets and applications is complicated for suppliers who are engaged in environmental innovation. The dissertation argues that environmental innovation is characterised by extensive complexity both in terms of technological complexity and complexity in shaping of demands on technological progress. It concludes that is is important for managers to create an ability to deal with complexity. Based on empirical findings, three possible approaches are outlined: simplification, interaction and experimentation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 2003. , 89 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Management and Economics. Dissertations, ISSN 0347-8920 ; 59Dissertations from the International Graduate School of Management and Industrial Engineering, ISSN 1402-0793 ; 73
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-34668Local ID: 22451ISBN: 91-7373-655-1 OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-34668DiVA: diva2:255516
Public defence
2003-07-01, 00:00
Note

Date of public defence not available.

Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2014-10-08
List of papers
1. Environmental innovation in auto development: managing technological uncertainty within strict time limits
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Environmental innovation in auto development: managing technological uncertainty within strict time limits
2001 (English)In: International Journal of Vehicle Design, ISSN 0143-3369, Vol. 26, no 2-3, 101-115 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Manufacturing industry is facing increasingly stringent demands on environmental compliance and the auto industry is particularly exposed to pressure from public and authorities in this area. The purpose of this article is to provide an empirical analysis on how the application of new technologies in order to comply with environmental demands may change the product development process within the auto industry. Experiences from the development of Toyota Prius, the worlds first mass-produced car based on a hybrid power train, are presented and analysed. The analysis shows that technological uncertainty made it necessary to move beyond the prevailing lean product development approach. The article concludes by suggesting a strategy consisting of three fundamental elements in order to control technological uncertainty in innovative and time-focused product development projects up-front testing, intense horizontal communication, and clear and challenging objectives.

Keyword
hybrid vehicles, product development, innovation management, technological uncertainty, environmental innovation
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-43012 (URN)10.1504/IJVD.2001.001932 (DOI)70699 (Local ID)70699 (Archive number)70699 (OAI)
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2014-10-08
2. Planned or experience-based processes for eco-design innovation: exploring product development driven by environmental performance targets
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Planned or experience-based processes for eco-design innovation: exploring product development driven by environmental performance targets
2001 (English)In: International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management, ISSN 1466-2132, Vol. 1, no 1/2, 164-178 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Eco-design research suggests that environmental considerations should be integrated with product development with no or only minor changes to existing development processes. These processes are expected to be systematic, predictable and thoroughly planned. This paper explores if this assumption is still valid when requirements on environmental performance call for more innovative product development. An analytic model is derived from innovation management literature and used to analyse the development of a new industrial gas turbine, a project for which challenging emission level targets meant that new combustion technology had to be applied. The main conclusion is that the application of new technology is followed by changes of the development process, meaning that development becomes guided by real-time experiences rather than by formal plans.

Keyword
eco-design, innovation management; product development, technology development, industrial gas turbine, development process, green design
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-35221 (URN)10.1504/IJETM.2001.000746 (DOI)25788 (Local ID)25788 (Archive number)25788 (OAI)
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2014-10-08
3. Architectural or modular innovation? Managing discontinuous product development in response to challenging environmental performance targets
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Architectural or modular innovation? Managing discontinuous product development in response to challenging environmental performance targets
2003 (English)In: International Journal of Innovation Management, ISSN 1363-9196, Vol. 7, no 1, 1-26 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

By adopting challenging targets on environmental performance, pro-active industrial firms may push themselves towards discontinuous product innovation. Such innovation can be understood as being either architectural, i.e. arranging components in new ways, or modular, i.e. introducing new technologies in specific components or subsystems. We argue that these two dimensions of discontinuous change call for some specific managerial responses. Architectural innovation challenges the whole engineering organisation, making it necessary to focus development efforts on technological interfaces, whereas modular innovation has a more isolated effect, making specialisation and co-ordination over organisational boundaries particularly important. Altogether, our analysis highlights the importance of adapting the project organisation to the development task and addressing part-whole relationships when managing innovation in established products and systems, something that becomes increasingly important in the strive towards sustainable development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Imperial collage press, 2003
Keyword
product development, discontinuous innovation, environmental performance, organisation
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-66058 (URN)10.1142/S1363919603000714 (DOI)
Available from: 2011-03-02 Created: 2011-03-02 Last updated: 2014-10-08
4. Sticking to your knitting or changing business model? Discontinuities and capabilities in electrical power generation equipment manufacturing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sticking to your knitting or changing business model? Discontinuities and capabilities in electrical power generation equipment manufacturing
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

We study distributed electricity generation as a potential technological discontinuity, and the response strategies pursued by incumbent electrical manufacturers in the face of this threat. A discontinuity grid is developed, where we position various technological response strategies. The empirical study shows that the major firms are undertaking different response strategies. We discuss this heterogeneity as a consequence of divergent capability endowments and the uncertainty prevailing. We also suggest technology acquisition to be easier than technology exploitation for incumbent firms.

National Category
Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-89681 (URN)
Available from: 2013-03-01 Created: 2013-03-01 Last updated: 2014-10-08
5. Commercializing cleaner new technologies: the case of microturbine generators
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Commercializing cleaner new technologies: the case of microturbine generators
2003 (English)In: Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, ISSN 0953-7325, E-ISSN 1465-3990, Vol. 15, no 3, 349-362 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Based on a study of the emerging microturbine industry, this paper argues that recent trends towards preventive and product-oriented industrial environmental management are problematic from the technology suppliers’ perspective. This is especially evident in the suppliers’ initial efforts to define markets and applications during early stages of commercialization. The distinction between product innovation driven by explicit or perceived user needs and innovation in environmental technology driven by regulatory demands has become blurred. This means that suppliers have had to interact simultaneously with both users and regulators in order to articulate the demand and acceptance for the new technology.

National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-46493 (URN)10.1080/09537320310001601522 (DOI)
Available from: 2009-10-11 Created: 2009-10-11 Last updated: 2014-10-08

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