Green innovation games - value creation, managerial roles and managerial capabilities in resource intensive businesses

Tommi Lampikoski

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


Along with increasing environmental concerns and customers' growing knowledge of environmental and societal issues, corporate sustainability has gained increasing interest among management scholars and business practitioners alike. Mounting public interest in environmental questions, triggered by numerous ecological crises and stricter environmental regulations, is forcing companies to view corporate sustainability as a strategic issue. Previous literature on corporate sustainability offer taxonomies for general environmental strategies, and offer general ideas for developing and managing corporate sustainability programs. However, previous research has not paid sufficient attention to the specific characteristics of different types of green innovations. Also, existing research fails to specifically address the specific managerial roles within the different innovation approaches. To fill in these gaps in the current knowledge, this doctoral research investigates the management of value creation for green innovations in resource intensive businesses from the perspectives of radical innovation management and corporate sustainability. In so doing, this study adopts an explorative multiple case study approach, including a primary case and a number of supporting cases, based on interviews with 49 senior managers in the United States. Through a qualitative empirical inquiry, the present study identifies and organizes green innovation into four different value creation strategies-referred to "green innovation games", and recognizes key managerial capabilities required in mastering these games. In addition, the research uncovers and elaborates three managerial roles in managing for green innovations, specifically associated with managing for radical green innovations in resource intensive businesses. Finally, the findings show that establishing and nurturing the identified managerial capabilities, roles and the ways to master the diverse innovation games can support the longevity and survival of strategic green programs in organizations. The study makes several contributions to the research on corporate sustainability. Overall, by analyzing the innovation activity through which organizations have pursued corporate sustainability, the study structures the management issues of green innovation to assist in maintaining a systemic flow of incremental as well as radical green innovations. For managers, the results contribute to advancing the activities that aim to grow businesses to conform to increased environmental concerns. Moreover, by improving the understanding of value-creation strategies that foster corporate sustainability, the findings help capitalize on the opportunities offered by green innovations.
Translated title of the contributionGreen innovation games - value creation, managerial roles and managerial capabilities in resource intensive businesses
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Möller, Kristian, Supervising Professor
  • Rajala, Risto, Thesis Advisor
  • Westerlund, Mika, Thesis Advisor
Print ISBNs978-952-60-6232-7
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-6233-4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • corporate sustainability
  • green innovation
  • resource-intensive business
  • value creation
  • Interface Inc.
  • innovation management
  • radical innovation


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