Call for Chapters – Innovation for Sustainability Business transformations towards a better world

Call for Chapters –

Innovation for Sustainability

Business transformations towards a better world  


Submission Deadline Extended Abstracts:

18 September 2017


Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Palgrave Studies in Sustainable Business (in Association with Future Earth)



Nancy Bocken1,2, Paavo Ritala3, Laura Albareda3,4, Robert Verburg2 


Lund University; Delft University of Technology; Lappeenranta University of Technology;  Deusto University





Innovation relates to development of new products and services, processes (production methods and procedures), technologies, organizational practices and business models. As a field of inquiry innovation is broad and distinctions can be made between the diffusion and adoption of innovations in the market versus organizational innovating and innovativeness. Here, we regard innovation as a process of turning opportunity into new ideas and of putting these into widely used practice (Tidd, Bessant, & Pavitt, 2005). Innovation is vital for organizational survival, long-term growth, and the abilities in both incremental and radical innovation constitute a significant source of competitive advantage for organizations (Teece, 2010; Gunday et al., 2011). However, a growing number of organizations also aim to include both social and environmental aspects as part of their economic value creation, since they understand that long-term competitiveness can only be achieved this way (Hart & Milstein, 2003; Porter & Kramer, 2011). Indeed, for an increasing number of firms, sustainability implies the creation, delivery and capturing of all three dimensions of value – economic, social, and environmental – as part of their business model (see e.g. Boons et al., 2013; Bocken et al., 2014; Iñigo et al., 2017; Lüdeke-Freund et al., 2016).

Accordingly, firms increasingly aim for sustainability-oriented innovation, rather than innovation as a solely profit-oriented pursuit (Adams et al., 2016) fostering complex transformation at the organizational level and society (Iñigo & Albareda, 2016). Here – we refer to sustainable innovation as both a process and an outcome of pursuits that increase economical, ecological and social aspects of value creation. Such innovation is all but easy, but when successful, the rewards are high for both innovating actors as well as the societies they are embedded in (e.g. Porter and Kramer, 2011; Eccless and Serafeim, 2013).

This book – ‘Innovation for Sustainability’ – will start from the big picture, the vision of sustainable innovation, strategy and leadership to the measurement, tools, and metrics for sustainable innovation. We highlight the strategic, organizational, and individual aspects of sustainable innovation, as well as its practical implications. Each of the chapters includes a range of academic contributions to the topic plus related commentaries contrasting real experiences (chapter by chapter) explained by professionals, leaders, entrepreneurs and managers from different business and organisational contexts such as NGOs, social and sustainable enterprises and governmental bodies. Thus, it will provide an overarching outline of the contemporary issues in Innovation for Sustainability from academic, business and social perspectives.

Objective of the Book:

The aim of this edited book is to provide an overview of the main dimensions, challenges and opportunities of sustainable innovation. This edited book will combine work from researchers active in different academic fields with contributions from professionals and entrepreneurs who work with sustainable innovation. The book will be an edited volume in which the chapters are written by researchers, as well as experienced experts, to understand and implement sustainable innovation projects.

The book aims to be a “solutions-driven” analysis and proposals fostering sustainable innovation towards a better world. Different chapters should be rather reflective and involve also a critical understanding of the challenges that need to be solved.

This book aims to be a key resource for Master students, PhD student, MBAs, but also scholars, practitioners and decision makers wanting to gain essential advanced knowledge about the field of sustainable innovation. Key topics are the analysis of different approaches to sustainable innovation, sustainable business model innovation, strategy and leadership, corporate responsibility and philanthropy, measurement and assessment mechanisms, impacts, tools and methods.


Recommended topics

The book aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the challenges in relation to sustainable innovation by presenting an overview of the relevant topics across four categories. Recommended topics include, but are not strictly limited to:

  1. The big picture: frameworks, types, drivers
  • Sustainable Innovation – classification and foundations
  • Sustainable business model innovation
  • Circular Economy and sustainable innovation
  • Philanthropy & Sustainable Innovation


  1. Strategy and leadership for a sustainability transition
  • Strategic sustainability and innovation
  • Leadership for sustainability and sustainable innovation
  • Sustainable innovation, sustainability Entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial teams
  • Sustainable innovation and sustainable Intrapreneurship


  1. Measurement and assessment of sustainable Innovation
  • Assessing the novelty and impact of sustainable innovation
  • Assessing the impact of new sustainable business models
  • Ethical issues in sustainable innovation


  1. Tools and methods
  • Sustainability, technology, and innovation
  • Embedding environmental and social aspects of sustainable innovation in organisations
  • Sustainable business experimentation




Researchers and practitioners individually or in teams are invited to submit on or before September 18, 2017, a 2-3 page manuscript proposal clearly explaining the topic and content of the proposed chapter (max. 1000 words including all). This can be delivered in the form of an extended abstract including initial outcomes, frameworks or tools and methods proposed, which may be visualized. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified about the status of their proposals as soon as possible (latest at 29 September) and at stage they will receive further chapter guidelines.

Full chapters are due by December 15, 2017. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a blind review basis. The book is scheduled to be published by Palgrave Macmillan in early 2019.

The book will be published by Palgrave Macmillan and distributed worldwide. It will be part of the Palgrave Studies in Sustainable Business (in Association with Future Earth). The book will be published in hardback and ebook initially. It will also be included in Palgrave Macmillan’s Business and Management package on Springerlink, which is subscribed to by institutions around the world.




  • September 18, 2017              – First draft of chapter proposals
  • September 29, 2017               – Invitations for full chapters and initial feedback
  • December 15, 2017                – Deadline for the full chapters
  • Dec 15- Feb 15 2018               – Peer review process
  • March 1, 2018                         – Peer review returned to authors
  • April 13, 2018                         – Deadline for final peer reviewed chapters
  • Summer 2018                         –  Final iteration & presentation of accepted chapters in   a workshop held adjacent to a major academic conference (not obligatory)
  • September 2018                     – Final Manuscript submission to Publisher
  • Jan/Feb  2019                          – Estimated Publication date


Inquiries and submissions can be sent electronically (Word document) by mail to the editorial team to the address [email protected]

The PDF of the call for chapters is downloadable here: Palgrave Macmillan Call for chapters_FINAL.

The link to Palgrave Macmillan’s website with the call for chapters can be found here.


  • Adams, R., Jeanrenaud, S., Bessant, J., Denyer, D., & Overy, P. (2016). Sustainability‐oriented innovation: a systematic review. International Journal of Management Reviews, 18(2), 180-205.
  • Bocken, N. M. P., Short, S. W., Rana, P., & Evans, S. (2014). A literature and practice review to develop sustainable business model archetypes. Journal of Cleaner Production, 65, 42-56.
  • Boons, F., Montalvo, C., Quist, J. & Wagner, M. (2013). Sustainable innovation, business models and economic performance: an overview. Journal of Cleaner Production,  45, 1-8.
  • Eccles, R. G., & Serafeim, G. (2013). The performance frontier. Harvard Business Review, 91(5), 50-60.
  • Gunday, G., Ulusoy, G., Kilic, K., Alpkan, L. (2011). Effects of innovation types on firm performance. International Journal of Production Economics, 133 (2), 662-676
  • Hart, S., & Milstein, M. (2003). Creating sustainable value. Academy of Management Executive , 17 (2), 56-67.
  • Inigo, E. A., Albareda, L., & Ritala, P. (2017). Business model innovation for sustainability: exploring evolutionary and radical approaches through dynamic capabilities. Industry and Innovation, 24(5), 515-542.
  • Iñigo, E. & Albareda, L. (2016). Understanding sustainable innovation as a complex adaptive system: A systemic approach to the firm. Journal of Cleaner Production126 (10): 1-20.
  • Porter, M. & Kramer, M. R., (2011). Creating shared value. Harvard business review, 89(1/2), 62-77.
  • Lüdeke-Freund, F., Massa, L., Bocken, N., Brent, A., & Musango, J. (2016). Business Models for Shared Value: How Sustainability-Oriented Business Models Contribute to Business Success and Societal Progress. Cape Town: Network for Business Sustainability South Africa.
  • Teece, D. J. (2010). Business models, business strategy and innovation. Long Range Planning, 43, 172-194.
  • Tidd, J., Bessant, J. R., & Pavitt, K. (2005). Managing innovation: Integrating technological, market and organizational change (5th edition). Chichester: Wiley.