Incumbents, entrepreneurs and interaction

Research stream 3 addresses the organizational perspective in transformation processes by studying firm-level strategies and behaviors in relation to the pending sustainability transition.

Image may contain: green, water, leaf, dew, organism.While research on the management of innovation and technology has highlighted the many challenges that incumbent firms face as they seek to cope with technological and institutional change, little is known about how incumbents and entrants collaborate during periods of change, and what higher-level outcomes of such collaborations are for transition pathways.  

Research Stream 3 tackles these questions by taking an organizational perspective. Specificially, we study firm-level strategies and behaviors in relation to the pending sustainability transition, and reveal collaboration dynamics between established and entrepreneurial firms during transition.

Central ambitions and research objectives are to understand:

  •     how novel industrial niches emerge as a response to sustainability demands;
  •     how established firms develop strategies for meeting transformation pressures;
  •     how interaction dynamics between incumbent and entrepreneurial firms unfold and potentially shape industrial transformation;
  •     the organizational dynamics within as well as across key industrial sectors in Norway; do transition pathways differ across various sectors, and if so, why?

To empirically study these questions, we draw on qualitative process studies as well as quantitative data analysis of firm networks within and across key Norwegian sectors. For example, we conduct in-depth process studies of how and why established firms develop particular strategies for meeting transformation pressures. We also perform a large-scale data collection effort of incumbent-entrant collaboration networks within and across focal Norwegian sectors to better understand the role of collaboration and knowledge transfer between incumbent and novel firms during times of industry transitions.

Ongoing activities include:

  • Hannah Schupfer's PhD project on the organizational transformation of incumbents towards more sustainability-oriented technologies and behaviour.

RS3 researchers

Birthe Soppe (RS3 coordinator)

Hannah Schupfer

Raissa Pershina