Authors: Tracey Dodd, Marc Orlitzky
Abstract: To investigate how sustainability alliances solve the problems of value creation, delivery, and capture, we analyzed the business models of environmental entrepreneurs that develop aviation biofuels. The findings, based on the interpretation of public documents and open-ended interviews (with 3 directors from diversifying incumbents, 10 entrepreneurs from start-ups, and 10 airline executives), show only minor innovative adaptations of business models when challenges to commercialization are encountered. Drawing on neoinstitutional theory, we argue that this lack of innovation may occur when industrial customers, in our case airlines, overemphasize regulatory and normative constraints and forces. Although de novo and de alio firms entered into sustainability alliances for different reasons, all study participants highlighted the absence of a viable business model as the major impediment of industry growth. This seems to have been driven mainly by the lack of innovativeness in the alliance partners' co-development of business models.
Keywords: clean energy; eco-innovation; ecopreneurship; environmental innovation; enviropreneurship; green technology; sustainable aviation fuels.