Incumbent energy companies navigating the energy transitions: Strategic action or bricolage?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


  • Eva Heiskanen
  • Eeva Lotta Apajalahti
  • Kaisa Matschoss
  • Raimo Lovio

Research units

  • University of Helsinki


The behaviour of incumbent energy companies is critical for a transition to a sustainable energy system. We address the recent call for closer conceptualisation of power and agency within transition studies by combining concepts of strategic action fields (Fligstein and McAdam, 2012) and the flat-ontology perspective of arenas of development (Jørgensen, 2012) to identify potential ruptures emerging on the micro scale in the field of sustainable energy. We investigate how new actor configurations in new experimental arenas open field rules for renegotiation. We provide a long-term analysis on how traditional energy field rules have emerged, how two of the most powerful energy companies in Finland have responded to the emergence of sustainable energy and how new forms of collaborations are emerging in the space created by new arenas of development that create ruptures within the incumbent energy coalition.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-69
JournalEnvironmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Arenas of development, Energy transition, Incumbent energy company, Strategic action fields

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