Partnership for green competitiveness - an innovation system approach
Maj Munch Andersen, Risoe National Laboratory, Denmark
Abstract This paper argues that there is a need for a new view on the division of labour between the authorities and companies in relation to solving the environmental problems. The paper claims that a national innovation system (NIS) perspective represents a potential new policy rationale based on enhanced corporate self-regulation. This policy approach strives to mould the innovation system to make it easy and attractive to engage in proactive CRS strategies for companies. In the emerging era of a more socially responsible market economy there is a need to strengthen the market as a driving force for sustainability goals. An extended partnership between companies and government forms the basis for the policy approach suggested here, a partnership that provides major challenges to policy making as well as to corporate strategizing.

Drawing on innovation system theory the paper looks into the industrial dynamics of the greening of industry in order to identify these challenges more specifically and provide ways of overcoming them. Notably the implications of changing competitive conditions in the knowledge economy and the changing role of business in society are addressed. In interpreting and further developing the microtheoretical framework of the NIS approach the paper draws on innovation theory from an evolutionary economic as well as resource based theoretical perspectives.

The paper concludes, that a partnership approach is highly difficult to achieve, but that there are new opportunities in the knowledge economy which should be realised and pursued, also by environmental policy makers. The innovation system approach may form an important contribution to facilitating this, both as an analytical framework and as a policy framework.

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