Keywords: innovation journey, sustainable innovation, stakeholder involvement, stakeholder identification, stakeholder classification, stakeholder roles, stakeholder tasks, sustainability criteria, organisational sustainability, offload reduction, environmental management, sustainable development
A framework for making sense of sustainable innovation through stakeholder involvement
This article presents a framework that can serve as a first step towards managing stakeholder involvement in sustainable innovation projects. This framework is based on the questions of which stakeholders ought to be involved, in which phase of the innovation project, and how. The underlying idea is that stakeholder involvement serves two goals: to clarify the local criteria for sustainable outcomes, and to activate organisational practices according to these criteria. In the framework we combine a new perspective on sustainability, 'the reduction of offload', with the well-known Triple P-perspective, to designate certain types of stakeholders. These stakeholders should be consulted to clarify criteria for sustainable innovation. Active participation of organisational members in stakeholder involvement might lead to the commitment needed for the actual use of these criteria in different phases of the innovation process. In this way stakeholder involvement can also lead to organisational practices consistent with sustainability criteria.