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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | MSc program in Management and International Business | 2015
Thesis number: 14342
Organizational capabilities for stakeholder engagement in sustainability-oriented innovation
Author: Decarolis, Riccardo
Title: Organizational capabilities for stakeholder engagement in sustainability-oriented innovation
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: MSc program in Management and International Business
Index terms: kansainväliset yhtiöt; international companies; johtaminen; management; organisaatio; organization; tietämyksenhallinta; knowledge management; innovaatiot; innovations
Pages: 76
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_14342.pdf pdf  size:3 MB (2254547)
Key terms: organizational capabilities; dynamic capabilities; knowledge management; stakeholder; stakeholder engagement; sustainability-oriented innovation; radical innovation
Abstract:
Research in the field of innovation has revealed that sustainability aspects play an increasingly important role in the development of new products and services. At the same time, stakeholder engagement in open innovation is an emerging area of study. This is mainly achieved by the creation and development of specific organizational capabilities. The purpose of this thesis is to combine research fields of organizational capabilities, stakeholder engagement and sustainability-oriented innovation. Thereby, the aim is to present a framework of organizational capabilities for stakeholder engagement in sustainability-oriented innovation processes.

The literature review provides insights from existing contributions in the fields of organizational capabilities, stakeholder engagement and sustainability-oriented innovation. The synthesis of the literature review suggests that there is a research gap between the individual fields, which this thesis aims to bridge. The theoretical framework is structured in a way that adequately addresses the posed research questions and combines inputs from previous literature as well as findings from empirical data. This data is collected from primary and secondary sources and analyzed in a multiple case-study design. First, an extensive within-case analysis is conducted. Second, the findings are presented in a cross-case comparison.

Individual cases are described in the empirical findings. This section further contains information about sustainability-oriented innovation processes and involved stakeholders. Moreover, specific organizational capabilities for stakeholder engagement are presented. These include external dialogue, internal coordination, learning process and pilot testing. Entrepreneurial sprit, organizational culture and stakeholder incentivization are capabilities that emerge from the case data, but are not extensively backed by existing literature.

In the discussion part a modified version of the theoretical framework is presented, considering inputs from the analysis of empirical data. The data sources do not provide information about prioritization of individual stakeholders. Moreover, there is no specific evidence if capabilities exist already at the beginning of the process or are developed along the way. These are the main limitations of this study. Future research should thus address these challenges and provide additional insights into this emerging field of research.

The results of the study provide management with insights into sustainability-oriented innovation processes. Furthermore, various ways of stakeholder engagement are presented. Most importantly, managers gain knowledge about specific organizational capabilities that promote stakeholder engagement in sustainability-oriented innovation processes. The main contribution for academia is the combination of these separate research fields into a comprehensive theoretical framework. This framework is applied and tested in a multiple case-study design to increase the relevance and value of the results.
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