Learning to learn for innovation and sustainable development

J.A.G. van Kleef

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Since the 1960s, the attention paid by policy makers and scientists to the negative environmental and social effects of economic development has grown steadily. However, although some progress has been made in a number of areas, unsustainable trends in the patterns of our systems of production and consumption have not changed to any significant degree.
This research is based on the observation that innovation to improve sustainable development requires learning at societal, organizational and individual levels. Business practices influence the development of systems of production and consumption, and in order to move towards sustainable development there is a need for innovation in the way businesses learn and innovate.
The research focuses on innovation processes and uses case studies of four innovation projects in the paper and board producing industry in The Netherlands. Three main aspects of innovation projects are identified: the development of innovation processes, the development of inter-organizational learning systems, and the development of capabilities that enable the innovation processes and the management of learning systems. On the basis of these aspects, a conceptual model is built that demonstrates the dynamics of inter-organizational learning for innovation. The conclusions drawn, with respect to learning for innovation and sustainable development, cover the fields of team diversity, learning from the past, joint decision-making, guidance by experienced senior managers, and dealing with the complexity of social issues and the dynamics of innovation projects.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Tilburg University
  • Roome, Nigel, Promotor
  • Noorderhaven, Niels, Promotor
  • Gössling, T., Co-promotor, External person
Award date26 Mar 2014
Place of PublicationTilburg
Print ISBNs9789056683856
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2014


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