Integrated environmental product innovation and impacts on company competitiveness: a case study of the automotive industry in the region of Munich

Strategic Direction

ISSN: 0258-0543

Article publication date: 23 May 2008

Keywords

Citation

Triebswetter, U. (2008), "Integrated environmental product innovation and impacts on company competitiveness: a case study of the automotive industry in the region of Munich", Strategic Direction, Vol. 24 No. 7. https://doi.org/10.1108/sd.2008.05624gad.009

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Integrated environmental product innovation and impacts on company competitiveness: a case study of the automotive industry in the region of Munich

Article Type: From: Strategic Direction, Volume 24, Issue 7.

TriebswetterU., WackerbauerJ. European Environment, January 2008, Vol. 18 No. 1, Start page: 30, No. of pages: 15

Purpose To identify factors inducing innovation by companies in Germany’s automotive and railway industries. Design/methodology/approach Focuses on the effects of environmental regulation on product innovation, conducts a brief review of innovation, environmental regulation and competitiveness literatures, refers to the Porter hypothesis suggesting that regulation drives innovation resulting in a win-win situation, but notes that only one study found clear proof of the Porter hypothesis, observing that most studies looked at end-of-pipe technologies. Studies 16 product innovations introduced by five firms, bases the studies on interviews with senior managers and R&D personnel, gives examples of the innovations as fuel-cell vehicles and replacement of metal car parts with plastic components, controls for firm size, ownership and product type, accounts for other drivers of innovation such as cost reduction and customer pressure, and measures effects of the innovations on market-share, turnover, production costs, exports, customer base, workforce skills and patents obtained. Findings Reports that of the 16 innovations four were as a result of environmental regulation, with one other resulting from company environmental policy, shows that all 16 innovations generated different performance improvements, and attributes cost reductions, and increases in turnover, market share, customer base, employee skills and patent stocks, to the environmental innovations. Includes sidebars detailing two of the innovations and their benefits. Originality/value Interprets findings as support for the Porter hypothesis .ISSN: 0961-0405 Reference: 37AE086 DOI: 10.1002/eet.475

Keywords: Automotive industry, Competitive advantage, Environmental regulations, Germany, Innovation, Organizational performance