Driving Eco-Innovation together : A qualitative case study on challenges for different sized collaboration partners
Sammanfattning: Background: The background to the study is found in the recent development of applying circularity on traditional processes to support sustainability and reduce food waste. Especially the saturated food industry is in need of innovation (Cooper, 2011) and it is seen as beneficial to foster eco-innovation through collaboration with others, in particular between small and large enterprises rather than them doing it alone (Hockerts and Wüstenhagen, 2010). These networks however are complex and eventually require special attention. Research question: How do representatives of small enterprises and a global operating company view challenges in collaborating on sustainability driven projects? Aim: Gaining insight on how an established company with environmental conscious agenda collaborates with sustainable idea providers that have sustainability at the core of their operations. Method: This thesis is conducted with a qualitative case study using abductive reasoning given its exploratory style of execution. The empirical data is collected through semi-structured interviews. As epistemological direction social constructionism is chosen, which puts into focus that social interactions between social actors create shared meaning and realities. Conclusion: It is identified how the case company’s collaborations with different stakeholders are impacted by challenges related to industry impact, process mobility and the ability to scale. Especially of importance is the selection of partners regarding shared sustainable values prior to start. After all, the mentioned challenges are eventually not seen as challenges but still are seen as important to achieve sustainable innovations that impact the company’s food handling.
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