Conclusions: the prospects of collaboration


Tukker, A. and Bruijn, T.J.N.M. de (2002) Conclusions: the prospects of collaboration. In: Arnold Tukker & Theo J.N.M. de Bruijn (Eds.), Partnership and leadership : building alliances for a sustainable future. Eco-efficiency in industry and science, 8 . Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, the Netherlands, pp. 295-313. ISBN 9789048159383

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Abstract:We started this book by noting that sustainable development has become the central perspective in environmental strategies around the world. As a result, those strategies are now aiming at transformation rather than simple environmental reforms. Throughout this book, the authors addressed the role of partnership and leadership as an instrument to engage society in such a transformational process in a variety of cases and circumstances. Although collaboration has become the new paradigm in industrial transformation, there is still much uncertainty about the workings and outcomes of collaborative strategies. When reading the chapters in this volume, it becomes clear, that the theoretical concepts describing how innovation processes leading towards sustainability work, let alone which role partnership and leadership can or should play in these processes, are far from mature. In this chapter, we will therefore make an attempt to organise the information given in this book into a more structured, and more coherent framework, before assessing the experiences and lessons of the cases. We will touch upon the following three issues. The first issue concerns the classification of the innovation processes leading to sustainability. The second issue concerns the ‘management’ of the different types of innovation processes. Which are the most relevant factors that influence the direction of these processes? The answer to this question can then be linked to the third issue, which is the core question of this book: how can partnership and leadership play a role in the different types of innovation processes? Which functions can it have? In our introductory chapter we identified collaboration as a premise for sustainable development. At the same time it may block more radical innovations. In this chapter we will take stock of the experiences so far after having provided a structure for classifying different types of partnership and leadership. On the basis of all experiences gathered in the cases in this volume, learning points can be identified on how partnership and leadership for sustainable innovations can best be organised.
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