Responsabilit socitale et dveloppement durable

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Policy networks in energy transitions: The cases of carbon capture and storage and offshore wind in Norway

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Publication date: Available online 13 February 2017
Source:Technological Forecasting and Social Change

Author(s): Håkon Endresen Normann

This paper employs the concept of policy networks to study how interest groups and actors compete over the influence of energy and climate policy. It is argued that the creation of learning arenas is critical for the development of immature technologies. The paper then analyses two large efforts to secure state funding of large-scale demonstration projects for offshore wind and carbon capture and storage technology in Norway. The paper describes a range of similarities between these two technologies in terms of scale, maturity, and costs, and in the way they represent possible solutions to the problem of climate change. However, the paper also describes enormous differences in government support towards full-scale demonstration. These differences are then explained in the analysis, which shows how different network structures facilitate different levels of access to the policy making process. The paper provides insights into how the interplay between state interests, political party strategies and the interests of firms influences the potency for solutions tied to climate and energy problems. The paper therefore contributes to the discourse on the role of politics in sustainability transitions.

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Enhancing ICT for inclusive human development in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Publication date: Available online 8 February 2017
Source:Technological Forecasting and Social Change

Author(s): Simplice A. Asongu, Sara Le Roux

This study assesses if increasing information and communication technology (ICT) enhances inclusive human development in a sample of 49 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa for the period 2000–2012. The empirical evidence present in this study, is based on instrumental variable Tobit regressions, in order to account for simultaneity and the limited range in the dependent variable. In the interest of increasing room for policy implications and controlling for the unobserved heterogeneity, the analysis is decomposed into the fundamental characteristics that human development is based on: income levels, legal origins, religious dominations, political stability, landlockedness and resource-wealth. Our findings show that policies designed to boost ICT (mobile phone, internet, telephone) penetration will increase inclusive development in the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. The degree of positive responsiveness of inclusive development to ICT varies across fundamental characteristics of human development and ICT dynamics. This study finds evidence of synergy in mobile phone penetration and such synergy is driven by non-oil exporting countries. The study has substantial policy relevance because the adoption and/or penetration rate of ICT can be influenced by policy to achieve inclusive development outcomes. Further policy implications are also discussed.

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A framework to study strategizing activities at the field level: The example of CSR rating agencies

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Publication date: Available online 21 February 2017
Source:European Management Journal

Author(s): Tamim Elbasha, Emma Avetisyan

This paper responds to recent calls to bridge strategy and organization research by combining Strategy-as-Practice and Neo-Institutional Theory through re-theorizing the notion of strategic actor. We problematize the notion of strategic actor at the field level, and rely on insights from management and organization studies and sociology to advance a theoretical framework that conceptualizes organizations as social actors at the field level. We demonstrate our theoretical framework by drawing on corporate social responsibility rating agencies. We see corporate social responsibility rating agencies as supra-individual, social actors that are predisposed to assume an active role in defining and revisiting structural parameters within the society through their purposeful, meaningful actions and interactions. Our main contribution is to the development of the Strategy-as-Practice literature, achieved by re-theorizing the notion of strategic actor at the field level. This contribution responds to the micro-isolationism critique, and proposes a new focus for Strategy-as Practice research.

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European sectoral innovation foresight: Identifying emerging cross-sectoral patterns and policy issues

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Publication date: February 2017
Source:Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Volume 115

Author(s): K. Matthias Weber, Petra Schaper-Rinkel

The research presented in this paper pursues two main goals. Empirically, it aims to explore sectoral futures at European level in a range of different sectors (automotive, construction, textile, KIBS, wholesale & retail), to identify cross-cutting patterns of sectoral change, and to highlight implications that these may raise for European innovation policy. In order to do this in a systematic manner, it also has a conceptual and methodological ambition, namely to devise a sectoral innovation foresight methodology that builds explicitly on concepts derived from sectoral innovation systems approaches. This theory-led methodology allows exploring and interpreting future developments at sectoral level in a coherent and comparable manner. Technologies and knowledge, actors and organisations, user needs and demand, as well as institutional and policy frameworks are taken into account; elements that need to co-evolve for any innovation system scenario to unfold. This conceptual framework is translated into a sector innovation foresight methodology that was used to guide a multi-sector foresight initiative. Based on a meta-analysis of insights from five different sectors, cross-sectoral patterns of future change as well as cross-cutting policy issues are pointed out. Three areas of cross-cutting changes have been identified: a) the shift from products to systems and services, b) blurring boundaries between sectors, and c) sectoral and cross-sectoral integration of sustainability demands, and the governance of interactions between sectors. Foresight projects at sectoral level have been conducted rarely as compared to technology-centered or societal-issue centered foresights or retrospective sectoral innovation system studies. By relying explicitly on a theoretical framework of sectoral innovation systems, this paper explores the potential of better linking innovation theory to policy- and strategy-oriented foresight.

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