Major innovation in energy incumbents : a science-based design approach


Talmar, M., Walrave, B., Holmström, J. & Romme, A.G.L. (2016). Major innovation in energy incumbents : a science-based design approach.



The need to engage in major (e.g., radical) innovation efforts continues to challenge incumbents in established industries, despite the vast amount of scholarly work available on this subject. In this respect, a clear gap appears to exist between scholarly work and managerial practice. This gap can, at least partially, be attributed to the enormous dispersion of the field of innovation research as well as the descriptive/explanatory research lens prevailing in the field. In this paper, we aim to bridge this gap by adopting a science-based design approach, in order to systematically synthesize the fragmented knowledge base on major innovation into an evidence-based framework of design principles and action propositions. As such, this study serves to develop actionable knowledge for enhancing major innovation success for energy incumbents. We contribute to the literature in two ways. First, by using a research synthesis approach based on CIMO-logic, the study integrates and extends the various understandings of major innovation into a framework that spans organizational themes, functions and levels. Second, the study illustrates how these design principles can inform the development of innovation strategies and solutions in energy incumbents.