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

Eva Heiskanen, Eeva Lotta Apajalahti, Kaisa Matschoss*, Raimo Lovio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)
137 Downloads (Pure)


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 - Sep 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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


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