Title: Supporting sustainable innovation through stakeholder management: a systems view

Authors: Gerald Steiner

Addresses: Institute of Systems Sciences,Innovation and Sustainability Research, University of Graz, Merangasse 18, 8010 Graz, Austria

Abstract: Although stakeholder-related considerations are receiving an increasing attention within development scenarios and in particular, within innovation processes, the actual management of stakeholders| identification and phase specific involvement has not been covered sufficiently, especially about sustainable innovation. A second shortcoming that can be observed is that sustainability and innovation are mainly treated as uncoupled systems, with a little effort to synthesise. This paper deals with how stakeholder-related problem-solving processes can contribute not only to the successful innovations, but also to sustainable innovations. Based on a brief discussion of the characteristics of sustainable innovation, the different types of stakeholders, their possible roles and their involvement within the problem-solving process are discussed based on a systems thinking perspective. The findings are demonstrated based on a quantitative analysis of the responses of 200 stakeholders (four different groups, each comprising 50 participants) and provide for meaningful results for stakeholder management issues.

Keywords: collaborative creativity; decision making; organisational implications; regional implications; stakeholder identification; stakeholder involvement; sustainable innovation; systems thinking; stakeholder management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIL.2008.019143

International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 2008 Vol.5 No.6, pp.595 - 616

Published online: 30 Jun 2008 *

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