Inter-organizational learning for sustained competitiveness and ecological sustainability – the case of beta-testing activities of alternative-fuel, fuel cell-driven public transport buses
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This doctoral research paper focuses on the occurrence and functioning of groups of organizations, which need to collaborate on inter-related innovations for sustainable development (SD) and ecological sustainability (ES). First of all, approaches to corporate environmental management (EM) and to societal experiments and projects for SD and ES are here conceptualized as taking shape in clusters of innovation for sustainability (CISs), as opposed to essentially framing these activities at the level of and from the perspective of the individual company. Furthermore, the study integrates various theories and perspectives on strategic networks or alliances by means of the integrating and overarching theoretical perspectives of inter-organizational and network learning. These theories and perspectives are applied to and extended for the specific implications of SD and ES by incorporating and combining the following kinds of – radical – innovations: - Socially shaped, disruptive, systemic technological innovations. - Socio-structural innovations in which different communities-of-practice need to collaborate. - Learning innovations, including higher-order learning between the involved organizations. A conceptual framework is derived and empirically applied to demonstration activities of alternative-fuel, fuel cell (FC)-driven public transport buses.
- sustainable development
- interorganizational relations
- organizational development