Moving beyond disruptive innovation: a review of disruption in sustainability transitions

Kivimaa, Paula, Laakso, Senja, Lonkila, Annika and Kaljonen, Minna (2021) Moving beyond disruptive innovation: a review of disruption in sustainability transitions. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 38. pp. 110-126. ISSN 2210-4224

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Because of the urgency of accelerating transitions, we examine the emerging understanding of the concept of ‘disruption’ in the context of sustainability transition studies to critically assess its value, pitfalls and potentials. By conducting a qualitative systematic review of 47 articles, we analyse how disruption is seen in this literature and what is being disrupted. We identify four non-technical dimensions of disruption, adding ‘behaviour, practices and cultural models’ to previously suggested dimensions, i.e., markets and business models, regulations and policy, and actors and networks. We summarise what the literature identifies as disruption in transitions and draw on other literatures (e.g. social practice theory and institutional theory) to elaborate the dimensions of disruption. We provide a new definition of disruption in sociotechnical transitions, with focus on both speed and magnitude of change. We end by highlighting the importance of disruptive practices and low-tech solutions alongside disruptive technologies and policies.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: sustainability transitions, disruption, disruptive innovation, destabilisation
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2020 16:36
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2021 15:45

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