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Innovation in environment‐oriented networks: Influence factors from case study and survey research

Maria Urbaniec (Polonia University in Czestochowa, Czestochowa, Poland)
Wolfgang Gerstlberger (University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 27 September 2011




The purpose of this paper is to outline and analyze the influence of environment‐oriented cooperation on innovations as the important factor for sustainable development. The research question is how could environment‐oriented cooperation contribute to innovations in enterprises?


For empirical research, a mix of methods is to be selected. At first, the results are obtained qualitatively and validated quantitatively afterwards. Two cooperation cases are selected: industry‐related and intersectoral cooperation.


The paper explains the contribution of environment‐oriented cooperation to realize innovations by identification of the innovation‐relevant cooperation factors such as: heterogeneous constellation of the cooperation partners; specialist know‐how exchange; coordination; and importance of industry orientation. These factors are also necessary for the implementation of sustainability‐oriented innovation practices in a wider (economical, ecological and social) understanding.

Practical implications

The paper shows that an environment‐oriented cooperation with different actors – which is coordinated by experts and concentrated on industry specific as well as oriented on the interests of all actors – can definitely help to realize potentials of innovation.


Concerning the increasing role of cooperation for the creation and implementation of environmental innovations, substantial awareness gaps are still observed. The paper has tried to identify and analyze cooperation characteristics which influence the implementation of environmental innovations and therefore the sustainable development.



Urbaniec, M. and Gerstlberger, W. (2011), "Innovation in environment‐oriented networks: Influence factors from case study and survey research", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 22 No. 6, pp. 686-704.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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