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When High-tech meets Low-tech: Eco-innovation Dynamics and Corporate Strategizing in the Construction Sector


  • Maj Munch Andersen

    (Technical University of Denmark)


In recent years green innovation or “eco-innovation” has grown increasingly to become one of the main drivers of economic development. This is a major change with regard to earlier times, when the environment in general was considered as a burden for businesses. This paper presents an empirical and theoretical analysis of the dynamics of the “greening” of industry in an effort to learn more about the competitive conditions for eco-innovation against a background of continuous change and in various economic contexts. We study the case of the corporate strategies of firms involved in the chain of production of paper in Denmark in regard to environment-related nanotechnology, using an “evolutionary capabilities” approach. Nanotechnology is of interest because it is at the early stages of development, because of its envisaged environmental potential and because of the environmental risks associated with it. It is also an example of the most high-tech side of eco-innovation and therefore of the absorption capacity of the construction sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Maj Munch Andersen, 2010. "When High-tech meets Low-tech: Eco-innovation Dynamics and Corporate Strategizing in the Construction Sector," EKONOMIAZ. Revista vasca de Economía, Gobierno Vasco / Eusko Jaurlaritza / Basque Government, vol. 75(04), pages 112-139.
  • Handle: RePEc:ekz:ekonoz:2010410

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Martin Jänicke & Klaus Jacob, 2004. "Lead Markets for Environmental Innovations: A New Role for the Nation State," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 4(1), pages 29-46, February.
    2. Ekins, Paul & Folke, Carl & Costanza, Robert, 1994. "Trade, environment and development: the issues in perspective," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-12, January.
    3. Diwan, Ishac & Walton, Michael, 1997. "How International Exchange, Technology, and Institutions Affect Workers: An Introduction," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(1), pages 1-15, January.
    4. Clayton M. Christensen & Fernando F. Suárez & James M. Utterback, 1998. "Strategies for Survival in Fast-Changing Industries," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(12-Part-2), pages 207-220, December.
    5. Abernathy, William J. & Clark, Kim B., 1985. "Innovation: Mapping the winds of creative destruction," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 3-22, February.
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    More about this item


    Eco-innovation; windows; glass manufacturing; nanotechnology; green nanotechnology;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L61 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Metals and Metal Products; Cement; Glass; Ceramics
    • L74 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Construction


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