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Article
Publication date: 13 September 2021

Giovanna Afeltra, Sayed Alireza Alerasoul and Fernanda Strozzi

Over the last few decades, more emphasis has been placed on those innovations that can reconcile economic, social and environmental goals in order to achieve a “win-win-win”…

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Abstract

Purpose

Over the last few decades, more emphasis has been placed on those innovations that can reconcile economic, social and environmental goals in order to achieve a “win-win-win” situation. This paper aims to systematise the scientific literature on Sustainable Innovation as a broad field in order to identify the most relevant scholars and their significant contributions as well as existing lines of research. Finally, future research directions are suggested.

Design/methodology/approach

A novel methodology, the Systematic Literature Network Analysis, has been applied. By using a dynamic approach to the traditional Systematic Literature Review, the present review investigates the creation, transfer, and development of knowledge throughout the epistemic community of Sustainable Innovation.

Findings

Starting from a sample of 1,108 articles, the critical assessment of the results detected five main themes: (1) “the role of Regulation, Market and Technology”; (2) “Eco-Innovation determinants and firm specific factors and the debate between corporate environmental performance and corporate financial performance”; (3) “Green innovation and internal and external drivers”; (4) “The strategic determinants of green (non-green) innovation”; (5) “The interplay between policy, regulations and the green innovation”.

Practical implications

From a practitioner's perspective, this study provides an objective view on the current internal, external drivers and strategic determinants of sustainability-oriented innovations and relevant studies that can guide managers in their decision-making processes and enhance sustainable innovation performance.

Originality/value

This study is a first attempt to unveil the evolution of knowledge in the field of sustainable innovation by utilizing bibliometric tools.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

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