The themes of technological innovation, entrepreneurship, and organizing

FUTURE RESEARCH DIRECTIONS

As can be seen, the debate on the economic effects of environmental innovation is still open. Direct links between Environmental Innovation and firm performance may be valid in some cases but not in others. Therefore, future studies should analyze more in detail the moderating factors in the rela­tionship between Environmental Innovation and business performance. In particular, the role ofthe environmental management systems is not clear yet. According to Nawrocka and Parker (2009), the study of the influence of environmental manage­ment systems on environmental performance of companies yields inconclusive results. Thus, the casual link between environmental management systems and Environmental Innovation is not resolved by the literature and there is no consen­sus on whether the environmental management systems are key determinants of Environmental Innovation (Ziegler & Rennings, 2004; Rennings et al., 2006), are factors that help the emergence of environmental innovations (Wagner, 2007; Rehfeld et al., 2007) (playing a moderating role), or on the contrary, do not affect at all to the emer­gence of environmental innovations (Frondell et al., 2008).

Likewise, other factors such as environmental capacity building (Aragon-Correa & Rubio - Lopez, 2007), the complementary deployment of environmental capabilities, firm size (Ziegler & Nogareda, 2009; Iraldo et al, 2009; Wagner, 2007; Chen, 2008; Cleffand Rennings, 1999) or industry (Horbach, 2008; Darnall et al., 2008; Frondel et al., 2008) among others are also relevant and must be taken into account in future research.

CONCLUSION

This chapter takes a new perspective in the study of Environmental Innovation. Thus, it is considered that Environmental Innovation can be explained from the theory of Social Innovation. This ap­proach is justified on the grounds that Environ­mental Innovation is a way of introducing ethical arguments to the activities of the company within a general context of change towards sustainable development. Therefore, according to our view, Environmental Innovation is considered as a kind of Social Innovation. Contrary to other authors, that suggest the existence of different natures for Environmental Innovation, (Rennings, 2000), we argue that, Environmental Innovation is a Social Innovation in nature, which is very important to classify as environmental innovations the changes (in behavior and relationships) that occur inside the business when administrative or technologi­cal environmental innovations are implemented.

Additionally, it provides an analysis of En­vironmental Innovation, taking into account its nature, determinants, types and the relationship between environmental innovations and the eco­nomic performance of the firms.

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Demand factors like environmentally con­scious consumers or general environmental con­cern, supply factors arising from the technological capabilities of enterprises in relation to environ­mental innovations, and institutional factors such as regulatory pressure are taken into account.

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Also, a typology of environmental innovations in line with OECD guidelines (1997) is presented. Providing examples of the most cited environ­mental innovations (organizational, product and process) and differentiating environmental pro­cess innovations between Innovations in End-of - pipe Technologies and Innovations in Cleaner Production Technologies, a complete picture of environmental innovations is offered.

Finally, the relationship between Environ­mental Innovation and business performance is examined. We argue that Environmental Innova­tion represents an opportunity for companies, promoting the creation of new core competencies and offering a creative and innovative perspective to the organization that can lead to the achievement of sustainable competitive advantages. However, in order to exploit the full potential of Environmen­tal Innovation, further investigation is needed. In this regard, the importance of other factors such as size, environmental capacity or industry, this, among many others, may be useful to advance the study of the field. Empirical research regard­ing these aspects is of great importance for the determination of environmental strategies. Thus, if environmental innovation results in business benefits, companies will devote more resources to pollution prevention strategies (based on in­novation), while otherwise will focus in emission control strategies.

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The themes of technological innovation, entrepreneurship, and organizing

About the Contributors

Farley S. Nobre (PhD, MSc, BSc) is Professor at the School of Management of Federal University of Parana, Brazil. His research interests include organizations, knowledge management systems, innova­tion and sustainability. …

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Farley Simon Nobre Federal University of Parana, Brazil ABSTRACT This chapter proposes innovative features of future industrial organizations in order to provide them with the capabilities to manage high levels …

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Jason G. Caudill Carson-Newman College, USA ABSTRACT The purpose of this chapter is to examine computer technology as a tool to support innovation and innovative processes. The primary problem that …

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