Understanding the unfolding of sustainable product innovation through the lens of societal embeddedness
Moritz Niesen, Environmental Management and Economics
Battery electric vehicles are one hope to significantly reduce the greenhouse emissions released by the road transportation sector – nevertheless, we see a rather slow diffusion of this innovation in most of the industrialized countries. This thesis explores how the unfolding of sustainable product innovation in general can be understood from a new, societal embeddedness perspective. Using this perspective helps us to understand and reveal the dynamics and struggles a chosen sustainable product innovation is confronted with. This project has particularly investigated the unfolding of battery electric vehicles in Sweden.
The thesis is also answering the request for future case studies and research (e.g. by Geels & Johnson 2018; Mylan et al. 2019) that is concerned with the use of the societal embeddedness lens to better understand the unfolding of sustainable product innovation in general. Thereby following the most recent trajectory of innovation theory and its critique on linear perspectives of innovation adoption and diffusion. The empirical investigation of this study addresses relevant societal domains of the battery electric car sector in Sweden. By understanding the dynamics that are taking place in the different domains of this sector, mechanism and strategies can be developed to overcome the struggles that are constraining the unfolding of battery electric vehicles in Sweden.