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Glancing through Two Decades of Research on the Human Side of Sustainable Innovation: The Past, the Present, and Directions for Future Research

Kratzer, Jan; Knyphausen-Aufseß, Dodo zu; Festel, Gunter

The increasingly negative effects of climate change are caused by humans and can be solved only by humans. In the past two decades, researchers have conducted considerable studies devoted to the human side of sustainable innovation. The present work aimed to provide a structured overview of these studies in the frame of the Special Issue: The Human Side of Sustainable Innovations. In contrast to the concepts capturing the human side, the definitions and operationalizations of sustainability and sustainable innovations are considerably ambiguous. We identified six journals that exemplify three factors on the human side of sustainable innovation and elucidate the concept. For their findings to be conclusive, researchers need to engage in significant efforts in investigating the differences in the interpretation and recognition of sustainability, in establishing consensus on the sustainable behavior of actors, and in executing comparable studies and experiments. Moreover, future research needs to establish generally accepted evaluations and measurements of sustainability.
Published in: Sustainability, 10.3390/su13116355, MDPI