Chapter 10: Firms, institutions and politics: the role of corporate political activity in sustainable innovation
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A distinctive characteristic of sustainable innovation distinct is its political nature. The institutional context in which firms seek to innovate has a strong influence on the outcome of the innovation process. This chapter focuses on the role of firms’ strategizing in relation to the political dimension of sustainable innovation. Basing itself in the management literature that takes a strategic perspective to corporate sustainability, it analyses firms’ capabilities in lobbying governments to either push or impede the development and commercialization of sustainable technologies. It addresses the question of how firms use corporate political activity to manage the complex institutional landscape around sustainable technologies. Conceptually, the chapter builds on a dual view on government institutions that emphasizes the enabling and constraining influence of institutions on firm behaviour. Adopting this view, it analyses how firms strategically leverage government support as well as manage to influence the policymaking process through corporate political action.

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