How Do Leaders Embrace Stakeholder Engagement for Sustainability-Oriented Innovation?
In this chapter, we demonstrate how open innovation can be applied to sustainability contexts. In this regard, we specifically address the leadership challenges encountered in accessing the wide variety of knowledge from multiple external stakeholders. First, we demonstrate that implementing open innovation for sustainability requires specific organizational capabilities that are different from what a firm might already possess regarding its general innovations. Second, we argue that successfully leading open innovation for sustainability entails broadening the scope of external stakeholder engagement to collaborate with non-conventional stakeholders such as local communities. Some sustainability-oriented innovation initiatives may also benefit from transactional type of stakeholder engagement where frequent interactions assist companies to establish stable search platforms and secure timely access to external knowledge.
We thank Wim Vanhaverbeke for encouraging us to write this chapter and for his valuable comments. Lene Foss thanks Malin Kvalheim for her assistance.
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