Exploring The Pitfalls of Systemic Innovations for Sustainability Through A Mathematicalframe
Systemic innovation is an important mechanism to deliver influential solutions for sustainability challenges, but it occurs rarely. Increasing sustainability challenges firms to improve the system as a whole through broadening their engagement in delivering game-changing innovations. This repositioning of sustainability increases complexity. Ourempirical case study explores the logic used by business leaders in large Finnish firms when discussing the challenges that hold back systemic innovation for sustainability. We describe the mathematics of complexity and translate firms' responses into a mathematical frame. The findings demonstrate that although all industries are advanced in integrating sustainability principles into their operations, they have stalled at the hurdle of delivering genuine systemic innovation for sustainability. Firms are able to conceptualize the complexity inherent in systemic innovation; but they are stalled at acting because they are unwilling or unable to integrate complexity into their tools and process in practice. We suggest that this inability correlates with managers’ pre-complex mathematical acumen, and propose further research to understand and address this issue.
Keywords - Systemic innovation; innovation management; sustainable transition; sustainable development; mathematical frame; case study