Eco-Innovation in SMEs: An In-Depth Case Analysis of Transforming SMEs through Effective Partnerships

Publikation: Arbeits- oder Diskussionspapiere und BerichteArbeits- oder Diskussionspapiere


Through eco-innovations small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) can contribute to sustainable development. However, in an SME context eco-innovations entail managerial complexities given advantageous and disadvantageous SME characteristics. Hence, this paper addresses the question how eco-innovations can be effectively diffused amongst SMEs. Public support programs, often functioning as public private partnerships (PPPs), are one way to diffuse eco-innovations. Through an embedded multi-case study approach we analyze five region-specific PPPs based on the “Ecoprofit” initiative. Here, we find three different eco-innovation strategies for SMEs (reactive, anticipatory, innovation-based) as proposed by Noci and Verganti (1999). Due to varying levels of absorptive capacity these SMEs respond differently to the handholding mechanisms offered by the PPP. Moreover, we find that the three SME strategic patterns also apply to the public partner behavior. This has implications for the effectiveness of public support programs, and their potential to transform SMEs into more sustainable companies.
VerlagCentre for Sustainability Management
Anzahl der Seiten47
ISBN (elektronisch)978-3-942638-24-1
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 2012