Vaasan yliopiston opinnäytteet

Johtamisen yksikkö, 2019

Ohtonen, Sara

Enhancing the Development of Green Product Innovations Through Collaboration among Startups and Large Firms

Ohjaaja/Valvoja (DI):
Anne-Maria Holma
Tutkinto:
Kauppatieteiden maisteri
Pääaine:
Johtaminen ja organisaatiot
Koulutusohjelma:
Master’s Programme in Strategic Business Development
Tutkielman kieli:
Englanti
Sivumäärä:
92
This thesis seeks to examine the phenomenon of collaborative development of green product innovations (GPI) among startups and large firms, and more precisely focuses on those Finnish firms operating towards more sustainable packaging. Awareness of plastic waste problem has forced large firms to consider more ecological alternatives for their product packaging and recently there has been invented novel green packaging innovations by Finnish startups. This creates a potential win-win situation for large firms and startups in the collaborative development of novel green innovations which has not been studied that deeply before in the scientific literature.

This research is conducting an extensive literature review on the concepts of green innovation and collaborative green product innovation among startups and large firms, taking also the nature of packaging industry into account. Based on the literature review, theoretical framework of the study is formulated to guide the empirical research. The empirical part of the study employs a research strategy of an extensive case study and data is collected through theme interviews. Three large firms and three startups participated in this research and they were selected according their contributions on collaborative green packaging innovations. The data is further analyzed by employing a theory-bonded content analysis.

The main findings of the study indicate that collaboration between startups and large firms enhance the development of green product packaging innovations because startups tend to have the novel innovations to replace plastic and big brands have the capabilities of commercializing the green innovation into an actual package for consumers. Even though large companies are also seen as innovative, the green innovations tend to come from startups where entrepreneurs’ own values and interest towards green packaging drives the innovation capability. The findings show that both parties have diverse innovation capabilities that benefit in the development of novel green packaging innovations.
Avainsanat:
green innovation, green packaging innovation, startups, GPI, collaborative green product development
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