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Sustainable Development in Organizations

Sustainable Development in Organizations

Studies on Innovative Practices

Edited by Mattias Elg, Per- Erik Ellström, Magnus Klofsten and Malin Tillmar

An increasingly competitive environment can lead to considerable problems for many organizations as they struggle to adapt to change. As a result, they fail to create the conditions that can lead to sustainable development over the long term, thus affecting the capabilities of employees. This book provides a fresh perspective on sustainable change and development in organizations, as well as a critical perspective on lean implementation, work environment and sustainability.

Chapter 9: Trajectories of learning in practice-based innovation – organizational roles at play in sustainable innovation management

Mervi Hasu, Eveliina Saari, Laura Honkaniemi, Tiina Tuominen, Mikko H. Lehtonen and Katri Kallio

Subjects: business and management, management and sustainability, organisational innovation, organisation studies


New hybrid forms of service offerings are becoming increasingly general in the public sector. An emerging line of research reflects a shift away from the technologist approach towards an approach that emphasizes service relationships (Djellal and Gallouj, 2005). However, these studies do not describe actual organizational roles that constitute preconditions for successful interaction and learning in the course of the innovation process. In particular, we do not know how organizational roles are played in the midst of top-down and bottom-up practices when an innovation is sustained, that is, conveyed from local experimentation context into wider societal use. The combinations and interplay of organizational roles in innovation endeavours that are potentially constitutive to sustainability are not discussed much (Crossan and Apaydin, 2010; Sundbo and Toivonen, 2011). We contribute to this research gap by demonstrating a new framework for analysing organizational roles at play in service innovation, based on empirical case studies in public sector services.

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