Environmentally sustainable innovations in offshore shipping: A comparative case study

Oyvin Kyvik, Age Svein Gjosaeter


Two Norwegian offshore shipping firms facing the challenge of developing more environmentally sustainable services choose divergent strategies. One focuses on managerial innovation and develops a new business model equally dividing fuel-savings achieved through operational optimization between customers and the Norwegian Rainforest Foundation, thus operating climate neutrally. The other firm develops a technology-driven strategy and develops LNG-propulsion for part of its fleet. Following the firms through the innovation processes, the study finds that implementing environmentally sustainable innovations requires managerial capability to provide a holistic and integrative perspective on organizational innovation processes which align technical and managerial actions and activities. The findings indicate that a business model can be used as a boundary-spanning tool that goes beyond the ambidextrous challenges of balancing and integrating exploration and exploitation and provides a complementary view on organizational innovation processes. The comparative case study looks inside the “black box” of sustainable innovation and offers theoretical and practical insights to academics and students. The study also contributes guiding principles for practitioners and policymakers.


Innovation; Business models; Strategy; Managerial capability; Environmental sustainability; Offshore shipping

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© FEUP EdiçõesThe International Journal on Multidisciplinary Approaches on InnovationISSN 2183-0606