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Business strategies for transitions towards sustainable systems

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Article number19
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>02/2010
<mark>Journal</mark>Business Strategy and the Environment
Issue number2
Volume19
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)133-146
Publication statusPublished
Early online date16/02/09
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper develops a strategic perspective for business to contribute to the innovation of societal systems. Sustainability issues at the level of societal sectors cannot be addressed by single organizations but need to be thought of as systemic challenges in which business, government and civil society each play different roles. Sustainability involves structural changes over longer periods of time, and requires co-evolutionary changes in technology, economy, culture and organizational forms. We propose that the transition management framework offers a fruitful way to analyze such co-evolutionary processes of social transformation and subsequently develop strategies to influence and accelerate such processes. We present the case of two firms working in this new context of transition management in The Netherlands. From these cases we conceptualize a more general approach for business to redefine and reframe the societal context in which it is operating and develop novel business strategies.