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New Tides in Shipping: Studying incumbent firms in maritime energy transitions
Södertörns högskola, Institutionen för naturvetenskap, miljö och teknik, Miljövetenskap. Södertörns högskola, Centrum för Östersjö- och Östeuropaforskning (CBEES), Baltic & East European Graduate School (BEEGS).ORCID-id: 0009-0005-9977-0949
2021 (engelsk)Doktoravhandling, med artikler (Annet vitenskapelig)
Abstract [en]

Shipping is a cornerstone of global transportation responsible for moving large volumes of traded goods. At the same time, negative environmental impacts of shipping operations have attracted growing concerns. Although recognised as the most energy-efficient mode of transportation compared to air and land-based transport, maritime transportation contributes significantly to air-borne emissions, alongside other types of pollutants. Hence, it is apparent that alternatives to highly polluting conventional marine fuels, i.e., crude oil or diesel, have to be found in shipping, just as in other sectors. Responding to calls for a greater attention to actors’ roles in transitions, as well as for broader sectoral coverage of empirical work in the field of sustainability transition studies, this doctoral thesis explores the role of incumbents (established shipping firms) in the early stages of maritime energy transitions. 

Focusing on incumbents is a relatively recent, yet rapidly evolving, stream of research in sustainability transitions studies, with increasing evidence showing heterogeneity and strategic variety in incumbent activities in various transition contexts. By drawing on a multi-level perspective from the socio-technical transition literature, the dynamic capabilities approach from the strategic management literature, and structuration theory, this thesis contributes new knowledge on “how” and “why” frontrunner incumbent shipping firms engage with maritime niche technologies and alternative energy solutions as well as what strategies they adopt to overcome increasing environmental sustainability pressures. These are the topics that have so far received scant attention in sustainability transitions studies. The thesis utilises a qualitative case study approach to study the selection of firms from passenger, vehicle carrier and container shipping business segments that are active in environmental work. 

The findings of this thesis indicate that the roles of shipping firms in the early stage of maritime energy transitions are diverse and more complex than often accounted for in sustainability transitions literature. It is demonstrated that due to increased regulatory, social and competitive pressures, firms’ activities with regards to engagement in maritime niche technologies and alternative energy have shifted from reactive to a mix of strategies where a portfolio of solutions are pursued at the same time across and within individual firms. While adoption of incremental end-of-pipe technologies reinforces dependence on the fossil fuel energy system, a parallel engagement and experimentation with alternative energy solutions indicates that incumbent firms can also adopt a central role in niche development activities.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Huddinge: Södertörns högskola, 2021. , s. 204
Serie
Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, ISSN 1652-7399 ; 193
Emneord [en]
shipping, incumbent firms, maritime energy transitions, multi-level perspective, dynamic capabilities, regime-niche interactions, decarbonisation, air-borne emissions, sustainability transitions
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
Miljövetenskapliga studier; Östersjö- och Östeuropaforskning
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-45367ISBN: 978-91-89109-76-6 (tryckt)ISBN: 978-91-89109-77-3 (digital)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-45367DiVA, id: diva2:1554371
Disputas
2021-06-15, MA 624 / via link, Alfred Nobels allé 7, Huddinge, 13:00 (engelsk)
Opponent
Veileder
Forskningsfinansiär
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 118/1.6.1/2016Tilgjengelig fra: 2021-05-24 Laget: 2021-05-12 Sist oppdatert: 2023-12-13bibliografisk kontrollert
Delarbeid
1. Sustainability Transitions in Baltic Sea Shipping: Exploring the Responses of Firms to Regulatory Changes
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Sustainability Transitions in Baltic Sea Shipping: Exploring the Responses of Firms to Regulatory Changes
2019 (engelsk)Inngår i: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 11, nr 7, artikkel-id 1916Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

This study investigates how the introduction of more stringent environmental regulation regarding sulphur and nitrogen emission control areas induced shipping companies to react to a new situation and opened up a window of opportunity for build-up of niches for alternative vessel energy sources. By drawing on a multi-level perspective from the socio-technical transition literature, the study provides empirical evidence for how realignments in the environmental regulatory regime alter incumbent actors’ positions and produce varying environmental innovation responses to reduce air-borne pollution from shipping. The study illustrates that the stringency of a regional command-and-control regulation in combination with evolving pressures in the external landscape environment and shipping companies’ task environments are essential components shaping the adoption of environmental innovations. Although incremental innovations seem to dominate in a fossil fuel-based maritime transportation socio-technical system, our results demonstrate the role of regulations and the behaviour of frontrunners in the context of regime fragmentation and sustainability transition processes.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
MDPI, 2019
Emneord
sustainability transitions; environmental innovations; multi-level perspective; Baltic Sea shipping; incumbent companies; sulphur and nitrogen emission regulation
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
Östersjö- och Östeuropaforskning
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-38007 (URN)10.3390/su11071916 (DOI)000466551600093 ()2-s2.0-85064084926 (Scopus ID)118/1.6.1/2016 (Lokal ID)118/1.6.1/2016 (Arkivnummer)118/1.6.1/2016 (OAI)
Forskningsfinansiär
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 118/1.6.1/2016
Tilgjengelig fra: 2019-04-15 Laget: 2019-04-15 Sist oppdatert: 2023-12-13bibliografisk kontrollert
2. Dynamic capabilities and strategic reorientation towards decarbonisation in Baltic Sea shipping
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Dynamic capabilities and strategic reorientation towards decarbonisation in Baltic Sea shipping
2020 (engelsk)Inngår i: Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, ISSN 2210-4224, E-ISSN 2210-4232, Vol. 37, s. 187-202Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

Despite the challenges of decarbonisation faced by the shipping sector, this topic has rarely been addressed in sustainability transitions studies. This paper questions common views of established firms as agents resisting change and broadens discussions on the role of incumbents and strategic reorientation. Using the dynamic capabilities approach, we provide a deeper understanding of firms’ strategic reorientation over time. Qualitative content analysis is applied to data from interviews, companies’ reports and observations to address questions on how and why incumbent shipping firms in the Baltic Sea region reoriented towards decarbonisation in 2007−2018. We demonstrate that the engagement in decarbonisation has been a gradual process, characterised by a shift from reactive strategies to a mixed portfolio of integrated active and proactive innovation strategies. Although firms experiment with decarbonisation through alternative energy solutions, they simultaneously continue to devote considerable attention to less radical innovations such as increased energy efficiency.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Elsevier, 2020
Emneord
Incumbents, Dynamic capabilities, Reorientation, Maritime transport, Decarbonisation, Innovation strategies
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
Miljövetenskapliga studier; Östersjö- och Östeuropaforskning
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-41909 (URN)10.1016/j.eist.2020.09.002 (DOI)000599933600013 ()2-s2.0-85091940927 (Scopus ID)118/1.6.1/2016 (Lokal ID)118/1.6.1/2016 (Arkivnummer)118/1.6.1/2016 (OAI)
Forskningsfinansiär
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 118/1.6.1/2016
Tilgjengelig fra: 2020-09-21 Laget: 2020-09-21 Sist oppdatert: 2023-12-13bibliografisk kontrollert
3. Revival of wind-powered shipping: Comparing the early-stage innovation process between an incumbent and a newcomer firm
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Revival of wind-powered shipping: Comparing the early-stage innovation process between an incumbent and a newcomer firm
(engelsk)Manuskript (preprint) (Annet vitenskapelig)
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
Miljövetenskapliga studier
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-45375 (URN)
Merknad

As manuscript in dissertation.

Under review with a special issue at Business Strategy and the Environment at the time for the public defence.

Tilgjengelig fra: 2021-05-17 Laget: 2021-05-17 Sist oppdatert: 2023-12-13bibliografisk kontrollert
4. Rethinking structuration logics in socio-technical transitions theory
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Rethinking structuration logics in socio-technical transitions theory
(engelsk)Manuskript (preprint) (Annet vitenskapelig)
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
Miljövetenskapliga studier
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-45376 (URN)
Merknad

As manuscript in dissertation

Tilgjengelig fra: 2021-05-17 Laget: 2021-05-17 Sist oppdatert: 2023-12-13bibliografisk kontrollert

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