Diversity of eco-innovations: A quantitative approach
AuthorsKiefer, Christoph Patrick; Carrillo Hermosilla, Javier; Río , Pablo del; Callealta Barroso, Francisco J.
IdentifiersPermanent link (URI): http://hdl.handle.net/10017/37387
Journal of Cleaner Production, 2017, v. 166, p. 1494-1506
Small and medium-size enterprises
© Elsevier, 2017
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
Despite a high academic interest in eco-innovation, a clearly defined common understanding of the characteristics of eco-innovations is largely missing. Existing research on this topic is still mostly qualitative, fragmented, difficult to compare or aggregate and generally specialised on certain aspects. Quantitative research is deemed necessary to improve the knowledge base and measurement of essential aspects regarding the characteristics of eco-innovation. The aim of this study is to quantitatively explore the underlying structure of the eco-innovation concept based on the current knowledge of those characteristics and to advance on the quantification of a four-dimensional framework proposed in the past (Carrillo-Hermosilla et al., 2010). Our statistical results reveal how the identified characteristics shape an underlying structure of eco-innovations along the four dimensions (design, user, product-service and governance) proposed in that article. The analysis identifies the factors which make up these dimensions, allowing a characterization of eco-innovations with considerably less complexity. The final impact of eco-innovation on the environment goes in tandem with and is usually mediated by considerable impacts at the company level (including internal management and organizational practices) which lead to changes in products and processes. Furthermore, our results stress the critical role played by users and clients' engagement and acceptance and cooperation with other stakeholders in the eco-innovation process. The eco-innovation may entail radical, path-breaking changes in existing relations between the firm and its production network. This article contributes to advance the understanding of the phenomenon by providing a comprehensive view and a common perspective.
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