Erik Lindhult

Jag undervisar och forskar inom områdena innovation och entreprenörskap.


  • Förändrings- och innovationsledning
  • Entreprenörskap för hållbar samhällsutveckling

To Erik Lindhult´s webpage


  • The inefficiencies of energy efficiency : Reviewing the strategic role of energy efficiency and its effectiveness in alleviating climate change

    Our present economy is high-energy and demand-intensive, demand met through the use of high energy yield fossil fuels. Energy efficiency and renewable energy sources are proposed as the solution and named the ‘twin pillars’ of sustainable energy policy. Increasing energy efficiencies are expected to reduce energy demand and fossil fuel use and allow renewables to close the ‘replacement gap’. However, the simple fact is that fossil fuel use is still rising to meet increasing global demand and even when demand is stabilised, the substantial energy efficiencies achieved are not delivering the expected reductions in energy demand. The net effect is that efficiencies are gained and renewable energy use is increasing, even though the replacement of fossils is not an immediately plausible possibility. This points to the under-theorised problems in the ‘efficiency and replacement’ formula. We argue the need to pay closer attention to the ‘systemicity’ of the problem and to the technical and practical systems involved in energy demand. There are a number of detailed reasons why the ‘efficiency and replacement’ equation has become problematic (‘globality’, energy yield, ‘rebound’ and ‘momentum’ effects) and we include a short review of these and relate them to our ‘systemicity’ argument. We argue there is a need for better thinking, but also for a new primary instrument to drastically reduce energy demand and fossil fuel use. Attention should be urgently shifted from gains in energy efficiency to substantial year-over-year reductions in demand.

  • Innovation capabilities and challenges for energy smart development in medium sized European cities

    Transition towards becoming Energy smart city integrating different areas of energy production, distribution and use in a community requires a spectrum of capabilities. The paper reports on findings from the EU planning project PLEEC, involving six medium sized European cities. The purpose of the paper is to describe innovation capabilities and challenges in the complex, systemic innovation journey of cities in the transition to sustainability. A case of implementing an innovative project for electrical vehicles in Eskilstuna is presented illustrating both technological potentials and innovation challenges.

  • Technology and transition : 'progressive evolution of regimes and the consequences for energy regime change

    Transition of energy systems has been under-theorised. We have argued previously that energy efficiency as a strategy for fossil fuel replacement is inadequate as energy demand is not being reduced by efficiency alone. This paper is intended to elaborate further on the reasons. We require better answers to better questions about the nature of energy regimes and how they resist change. Our present-day socio-technical energy regime is a global integrated technical arrangement based on cheap high-yield energy sources (fossil fuels) with built-in 'progressive' social and economic directions. This 'progressive' change relies on cheap energy as a resource towards ever greater global integration and economic efficiency. Energy regime change will be not a tinkering at the edges but will require a dismantling of this 'progressive' tendency with radical retrogressive economic and social consequences. We conclude a change of our relationship with energy will require the reversal of a contingent 'progressive' tendency that is as old as mankind and the necessarily modest building of a new infrastructural apparatus designed to a new 'end', or the reversion to previous low or lower demand apparatus based on non-fossil energy sources. Both solutions would imply major social and economic changes which we will deal with in another paper. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  • Organizing Experience Feedback Loops for Continuous Innovation
  • Value driven innovation in industrial companies : A complexity approach

    The purpose of this research is to contribute to the development of an interactive, systemic and ecosystem view of innovation and its management. This emerging interactive and systematic view of innovation labeled as Value Driven Innovation in this research, where enhanced symbiotic value is continuously discovered and realized in interactive processes among stakeholders such as customers, providers, suppliers and related partners. The main outcome of the research is a complexity conceptualization of value driven innovation, which synthesizes and extends to value-driven innovation management recent developments in complexity science. In addition, the findings may provide useful tools to clarify and enhance the manageability of innovation in the face of complexity, uncertainty and unpredictability.

  • Norms and Ethics: Prerequisites for Excellence in Co-production

    Abstract Knowledge production is increasingly made in broader Mode 2 (Gibbons, 1994) network of stakeholders and contributing actors, e.g. in the form of participatory, interactive and action research. Historically this has always been an important part of scientific and academic activity, particularly important in certain scientific fields of research, e.g. engineering, business administration, organization and working life research, pedagogics and social work studies, as well in methodological traditions like action research and participatory research (Reason & Bradbury, 2008). When roles in knowledge production are more interconnected traditional research ethics focused on ethical treatments of research objects when they also are subjects (e.g. information, consent, and confidentiality) need to be significantly supplemented. When knowledge is seen as co-produced in interaction between equal parties with different contribution to the process and knowledge interest, this creates the need for recognition and guidance of special norms and ethical codes as prerequisites for excellent practice. This paper is aiming to explore and discuss norms of excellence and ethical concerns in co-production between academia and enterprises and how collaboration could be organized to increase both validity and utility of the knowledge created in such settings. All parties in such collaborative setting have the responsibility to generate practical agreements as to form the ground for a beneficial co-production, however this includes rules for securing non-violation of rights, like confidentiality and intellectual property. The parties share responsibility in review and control of quality of processes and results in relation to these agreements, although it differs in what matters considered important to address in academic traditions and enterprises cultures. The purpose of this paper is to develop an extended set of norms and ethical principles for co-production oriented research. The main focus is relational dimension between involved parties instead of how one party (the researcher) treats other affected parties. We have therefore developed a list of norms with clarification and argument as basis for their use. Examples are: acknowledgement and respect should be given to different forms of knowledge, theoretical and practical, explicit and formal as well as implicit and tacit; care should be taken to provide space for expression of different perspectives of involved parties in order to secure validation and useful results, open discussion on equal terms; democratic dialogue, is a core medium for good co-productive relations, different knowledge needs and interests of involved and concerned parties, practical as well as scientific; to the co-production should be considered in the aims and procedures, and that the parties have a mutual responsibility to develop sufficient understanding of the needs and interests of others. The proposed norms developed in this paper can be considered as a tool or a guideline for the development of ethical and excellence co-produced research.

  • Complexity approach to joint value discovery in service innovation management

    The paper describes how complexity notions can be useful to model Servitization dynamics in industrial companies moving from product based to service oriented configuration. It is a movement towards joint value discovery in industrial service innovation management increasing potentials for radical or architectural innovation. Based on process oriented research on global industrial companies identifying transition phases of Servitization, a complexity model is developed to understand, predict and guide the process, mechanisms, and outcomes of increased capacity for joint value discovery. The model synthesizes and extends to service innovation management a complexity approach originally introduced by Goldstein, Hazy and Lichtenstein (2010) and called the Cusp of Change Model. The theoretical developments are particularly useful in guiding leadership of innovation in broader organizational and networked settings, contributing to development of service innovation strategies as well as systemic leadership of innovation activity in services in global industrial companies.

  • Quality in innovation management auditing

    Innovation management auditing (IMA) is valuable to assessinnovation capability. A review of literature shows that research-based IMAmodelsare few and there are considerable variations in IMA-related researchand models. The quality of different models is often unclear or limited. Thepurpose of this paper is to clarify the basis for valid and reliable auditingthrough discussing and developing a quality framework. Findings point to thatthere are different aims and purposes of IMA; measuring, learning about orchanging innovation capability as well as improved business performancethrough capability enhancement. Different aims imply different focus andformulation of quality to be achieved through IMA efforts. A qualityframework for IMA is developed based on aims and the trustworthiness (validity, reliability and objectivity) in achieving respective aims. Theframework is proposed as a way to assess quality of different models, as aguide to enhance quality through research, and for practitioners to use modelsand tools in a quality-conscious way.

  • ICT enabled business model innovation to support servitization in global industrial companies

    Servitization in industrial companies to escape the “commodity trap” can be enhanced by business model innovation (BMI) in order to systemically focus on the firm ?s value proposition, its organization of (co-) production as well as capturing of value in revenue mechanisms (Amit & Zott, 2012; Chesborough, 2010). ICT oriented developments like cloud, big data, internet of thing, smart installed base here offer potentials to take advantage and develop the information base of products, processes, utilization and customer behavior and needs into new and more complex offerings (LaValle et al., 2011). The purpose of the paper is to analyze the enablers and barriers for innovation in ICT enabled business models to ease and accelerate the journey towards service business development in global industrial companies. The research is done through a literature review on research and BMI cases, and a process oriented case study of emerging developments in a global industrial company. The research result is identification and synthesis of enabling factors and barriers in servitization through ICT supported BMI. Enabling factors are related to information and information processing potentials and organizational capabilities to increase service content of offerings, while barriers are e.g. internal integration and competence as well as customer trust, information confidentiality as well as willingness to engage in more close, service oriented and co- creative business relationships. The result will be input to ongoing action research collaboration with industrial companies in terms of research agenda as well as practical insights for BMI efforts.

  • Servitization through innovation
  • Service innovation capabilities in large industrial organizations
  • Developing collaborative power in working life: linking American pragmatism and action research
  • Emergent innovation - towards a new paradigm for innovation research and management
  • Angels and demons – The religion of Innovation?

    History anticipates a link between religion and innovation, and religious aspects could be expected to impact also current innovation activities, positive or negative. This paper describes and discusses the relations between innovation and religion by means of a systematic literature review. The review points to six different causal claims between religion and innovation: (i) the Church as a platform for innovation and entrepreneurship; (ii) religion enabling or inhibiting innovation adaptation and diffusion; (iii) spirituality and ethics, and their relation to innovation, organisational development and human relation management; (iv) creation and utilisation of innovations in religious settings; (v) doctrinal innovation; and (vi) religion as scientific underpinning. This evokes an initiative for further studies on religion and innovation, and contributes to current understanding through providing a first-of-its kind literature review.

  • Environmental leadership : The Environmental Technology Sector in Sweden from an Ecopreneurship Perspective

    Economic actors and entrepreneurs are the central agents of change in the process of transformation needed to solve environmental challenges. The growing recognition of environmental issues has provided entrepreneurs with new opportunities, resulting in the emergence of ecopreneurs. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the character of ecopreneurship in the environmental technology sector, with focus on environmental responsibility and environmental leadership at both the company and sector level. The survey of companies and representatives of branch organisations in four environmental technology subsectors: Waste Management & Recycling, Bioenergy Fuels, Wind Energy Technology and Solar Energy Technology is based on telephone and personal interviews as well as on environmentally related information and statements on the websites. The literature review shows that there are different approaches to categorizing ecopreneurs and sustainability entrepreneurs. A key dimension is the value and motives of entrepreneurs, with dichotomy between opportunistic ecopreneurs, and those driven more by nonprofit value. Environmental technology and cleantech are commonly accepted as being green businesses as these sectors deliver environmental preferable products and services.  According to the results there is a strong awareness about this environmental friendly profile within subsectors of environmental technology industry, both within branch organizations and within companies. However, this awareness does not always lead to a broader, green-green view of the environmental leadership. In many cases the branch organizations and the companies within environmental technology sector represent a more opportunistic approach towards environmental issues. Only one of branch organizations addresses environmental impacts of members.

  • Development of Total Innovation Management Approach for Service Innovation

    Stronger global completion provides an impetus for servitization in global industrial companies, that is, to shift from selling products to selling integrated products and services. To increase efficiency in service innovation there is a need to reorganize innovation system and build suitable capabilities, something which require significant organizational transformation. The purpose of the paper is to describe a Scandinavian effort to develop a Total Innovation Management (TIM) approach to service innovation. Firstly, a theoretical framework for innovation system for service is developed. Secondly, through a case illustration it is shown that servitization in practice imply complex dynamics of many factors, forces and agency which both works towards and restricts servitization. To deal with this dynamic there is a need for a TIM approach.

  • Democratizing Innovation - Theoretical considerations

    There are today trends towards democratizing innovation (von Hippel, 2005) in line with the vision of creative democracy earlier recognized by thinkers like Dewey (1939) and Follett (1998). User involvement and the internet as a medium for interaction is broadening the participation in innovation processes. What is lacking in innovation research is conceptual and theoretical understanding of democratizing dimensions of innovation management grounded in theories of participatory democracy. The purpose of the paper is to contribute with understanding of the character of democratic innovation management based on four variants of theory of participatory democracy. The study is performed through synthesis of liberal, communitarian, discursive and interactive theories of participatory democracy, and investigating how these theories contribute with understanding of participation and the mobilization of creative capacities of people as well as how to integrate them freely into collaborative, innovative and efficient innovation processes.

  • Space for emergent innovation
  • Sustainable entrepreneurship as driver in cleantech development towards industrial eco-renewal
  • From development to delivery in industrial service innovation
  • Complexity and democracy as points of departure in Total Innovation Management
  • American Pragmatism, Action Research and Power
  • Societal entrepreneurship as identity and strategy orientation of incubators and science parks
  • Nietzschean transcendence as core entrepreneurial challange

    By appropriating learning from the social and cultural sciences, entrepreneurship and innovation as research fields can be enriched and deepened. Nietzsche can make a contribution to the understanding of entrepreneurship as a matter of transcending the established order, through the creative work of actors. E.g. in order to be able to handle “radical” forms innovation and entrepreneurship, Nietzchean conceptual resources and perspectives can be helpful. He is a philosopher of the unconventional par excellence. An important aspect of transcendence is the overcoming and self-transcendence of the self. The concept of ubermensch by Nietzsche is here intriguing and ambivalent in the reception of his work - seemingly an analogy to the ambivalence of the entrepreneur-hero in the entrepreneurship literature. Closer reading indicate a more complex understanding of men through creative work overcoming themselves, and breaking loose of established customs and norms.

  • Moving towards Total Innovation Management
  • Societal Entrepreneurship for sustainable development of society
  • Entrepreneurship as driver of market and institutional change for sustainability
  • Management of power in action research and participatory research
  • Societal entrepreneurship education as driver in community transformation
  • Towards democratic scientific inquiry? Participatory democracy as theory of science point of departure in action research
  • Societal entrepreneurship – fruitful concept or oxymoron?
  • Conceptualizing Everyday Entrepreneurship : A Theoretical Contribution to Entrepreneuring
  • Utvecklingspartnerskap som samhällsentreprenörskap
  • Development Partnership as Societal Entrepreneurship
  • Does advice to innovators contribute to innovation?
  • Sustainable entrepreneurship and cleantech. A Swedish perspective
  • Societal Entrepreneurship in the development of Incubators and Science Parks
  • Emancipation or Workability? Critical versus pragmatic scientific orientation in action research

    In this article a distinction between a pragmatic and a critical orientation of action research is made. These orientations can be considered, implicitly or explicitly, to be the main alternatives in AR today. What are the assumptions behind, and practical implications for, AR projects with different orientations? A number of themes are introduced where a tension between the two are identified and illustrated in the form of a dialogue and friendly quarrel between proponents from each side. It is argued that the two orientations suit different research contexts and cannot easily be combined. The pragmatic orientation is well suited for contexts where concerted and immediate action is needed, whereas the critical is preferable where transformative action needs to be preceded by critical thinking and reflection. In the former, power to act is a desired outcome, and in the latter, unequal and invisible power relations need to be unveiled before they can be transformed. The responsibility of the researcher, as well as the form of knowledge developed, differs between the two orientations.

  • Att bedöma och uppnå kvalitet i interaktiv forskning
  • Are Partnerships Innovative?
  • Partnerskap – en arena for entreprenörskap?
  • Variety of entrepreneurship as requirement for sustainable development .
  • 72 hours to innovation as creative democracy

    Opening up innovation processes requires the development of forceful and efficient practices and methods that is able to mobilize and pool the creative capacities of a broader range of people. This paper will focus on a collaborative innovation design – the Innovation Plant - that in its concentrated form is a 72 hours innovation race. The purpose of the paper is to conceptualize and interpret the “72 hours to innovation” methodology from the point of view of “creative democracy”, the mobilisation of the creative capacity of all. As a form of crowd sourcing, the methodology develops concentrated creativity in order to radically accelerate innovation.

  • Interactive project strategy in development partnerships
  • Conceptualizing everyday entrepreneurship : The case of college students at the risk of dropping out
  • Conceptualizing Everyday Entrepreneurship : The case of college students at the risk of dropping out
  • Action research as praxis oriented inquiry : Towards a praxis turn in the orientation of science
  • Från vetenskaplig orientering till kvalitetspraxis. Att bedöma och uppnå kvalitet i aktionsforskning/interaktiv forskning
  • Partnerskap som socialt entreprenörskap
  • Walking a tightrope between artistry and entrepreneurship - the stories of Hotel Woodpecker, Otter Inn and Luna Resort,