Forever stuck in old ways? Pluralising incumbencies in sustainability transitions

Turnheim, Bruno and Sovacool, Benjamin K (2019) Forever stuck in old ways? Pluralising incumbencies in sustainability transitions. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions. ISSN 2210-4224

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Inthis Viewpoint, we arguethat transitions research needsto engage more firmly withthe role of incumbents and various forms of incumbencies. We identify shortcomings of existing research, notably a tendency to portray incumbents as ‘villains’ wedded to resisting, slowing down or preventing transition efforts. With that in mind, the Viewpoint briefly summarises shortcomings within existing research and proposes four steps for pluralising the discussion. We call attention to more emphasis on 1) a multiplicity of incumbent actor types, 2) a variety of actor strategies within (and across) organisational populations, 3) the transient nature of strategic positioning (over time), and 4) the varied resources that incumbents may deploy to support transformative change.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: socio-technical transitions; sustainability transitions; incumbency; innovation;
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Francisco Dominguez
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2019 08:32
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2020 15:15

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