Powering sustainable innovations: Strategies for collaborating with deviant partners

Jouni Juntunen, Minna Halme, Angelina Korsunova-Tsaruk, Risto Rajala

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperScientificpeer-review


Leading innovators boost their innovation capacity with ideas, knowledge and expertise provided by their stakeholders. Yet, many firms miss the opportunities to innovate for sustainable products, services and business models with external contributors. Based on our extensive field study on sustainability innovations, we show that they often do so because they disregard the opportunities provided by untypical partners. Conversely, leading innovators have begun to integrate stakeholders in creative ways and developed integration strategies to work with different stakeholders. The present study examine the ways companies can integrate stakeholders in the innovation to achieve improved sustainability impact. All of the integrated stakeholders are not merely the typical partners such as customers, other businesses or experts in the field, but they may range from users to public sector representatives. We present four strategies used by the case companies to integrate such partners as external innovators. The results highlight the importance of building strong ties between the innovating companies and the integrated stakeholders. Interestingly, companies should be cautious of integrating a large number of stakeholders to the innovation process if aiming to increase the sustainability contribution.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventR&D Management Conference - University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Jul 20166 Jul 2016


ConferenceR&D Management Conference
Abbreviated titleRADMA
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Sustainability innovation
  • sustainability management
  • Sustainable development


Dive into the research topics of 'Powering sustainable innovations: Strategies for collaborating with deviant partners'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this