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Institutional dynamics and technology legitimacy – A framework and a case study on biogas technology

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  • Markard, Jochen
  • Wirth, Steffen
  • Truffer, Bernhard

Abstract

Legitimacy is central for both novel and established technologies to mobilize the resources necessary for growth and survival. A loss of legitimacy, in turn, can have detrimental effects for an industry. In this paper, we study the rise and fall of technology legitimacy of agricultural biogas in Germany over a period of more than 20 years (1990–2012). The field witnessed impressive growth and professionalization for many years and has become one of the key technologies in Germany's energy transition. In recent years, however, it has been confronted with major criticism, which finally resulted in a substantial cut-back of public and political support. The aim of our study is twofold. In empirical terms, we will explain the technology's loss of legitimacy despite its compliance with original policy objectives: growth and maturation. In theoretical terms, we work toward a more general framework to understand technology legitimacy and to explain the institutional dynamics of technological innovation systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Markard, Jochen & Wirth, Steffen & Truffer, Bernhard, 2016. "Institutional dynamics and technology legitimacy – A framework and a case study on biogas technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 330-344.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:45:y:2016:i:1:p:330-344
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2015.10.009
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