This paper develops a strategic perspective for business to contribute to the innovation of societal systems. Sustainability issues at the level of societal sectors cannot be addressed by single organizations but need to be thought of as systemic challenges in which business, government and civil society each play different roles. Sustainability involves structural changes over longer periods of time, and requires co-evolutionary changes in technology, economy, culture and organizational forms. We propose that the transition management framework offers a fruitful way to analyze such co-evolutionary processes of social transformation and subsequently develop strategies to infl uence and accelerate such processes. We present the case of two firms working in this new context of transition management in The Netherlands. From these cases we conceptualize a more general approach for business to redefine and reframe the societal context in which it is operating and develop novel business strategies.

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Keywords business development, strategy, sustainable development, transition management
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Journal Business Strategy and the Environment
Note Publication ahead of print; no volume number or pages numbers
Loorbach, D.A, Bakel, J.C, Whiteman, G.M, & Rotmans, J. (2009). Business strategies for transitions to sustainable systems. Business Strategy and the Environment, 19(2), 133–146. doi:10.1002/bse.645