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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | MSc Degree Programme in Creative Sustainability | 2014
Thesis number: 14534
Stakeholder theory meets innovation: An investigation of stakeholder thinking in an innovation context
Author: Hronek, Jörg
Title: Stakeholder theory meets innovation: An investigation of stakeholder thinking in an innovation context
Year: 2014  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: MSc Degree Programme in Creative Sustainability
Index terms: johtaminen; management; sijoittajat; investors; osakkeet; shares; innovaatiot; innovations
Pages: 77
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_14534.pdf pdf  size:17 MB (17048668)
Key terms: stakeholder theory; stakeholder management; stakeholder thinking; stakeholder; innovation; open innovation; innovation sandbox; Skanska; Boklok; CEMEX; Patrimonio Hoy; Positive Organization Scholarship
Purpose - The aim of this study is to advance stakeholder theory concepts into the realm of innovation. This benefits both stakeholder theory, which receives a new direction to unfold itself, and also innovation concepts which tend to deal more with partner networks.

Design/methodology/approach - The methodology involves a single case study from which data are derived and analysed using a chronological approach. The empirical data from the studied case are compared to a case from the literature and differences and commonalities are analysed. The findings from this process are then translated into implications for the literature and the research question(s).

Findings - The results of this study show in which way stakeholder thinking can be relevant to innovation and how both domains can benefit from each other. Especially the practical aspects of stakeholder management and engagement have shown to be particularly useful in this regard.

Research limitations/implications - The main limitation of this study is that it is only a single case study which doesn't allow generalizations that are deeply grounded. It does however make suggestions based on the findings that have great potential to be explored further by other researchers; in the domain of stakeholder theory as well as innovation.

Practical implications - The results of the study provide management with a perspective on the innovation process that highlights how stakeholder relationships throughout the process influence the innovation. Knowing this, managers can more consciously evaluate how choices in stakeholder management affect the stakeholder network and the innovation process.

Originality/value - Despite the great amount of work that went into various aspects of stakeholder theory, innovation concepts have never been explicitly the target of advancements through stakeholder theory. This study makes an original contribution by developing an approach based on multiple inputs from stakeholder and innovation literature, empirical case data as well as a case from literature, and the innovation sandbox concept.
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