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Title: The adoption of eco-innovations : a study of SMEs in the Scottish food and drink sector
Author: Dakup, Karan
ISNI:       0000 0004 7430 9537
Awarding Body: Robert Gordon University
Current Institution: Robert Gordon University
Date of Award: 2018
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The increasing government and consumer interest in, and growing concerns about environmental issues have pressured businesses to adopt eco-innovative measures and activities. These pressures have been felt particularly by the food and drink sector in Scotland, a sector that is of considerable importance to the Scottish economy. To date, few studies have considered the challenges businesses in this sector face with regard to the adoption of eco-innovations. In particular, there has been little research on the challenges faced by the SMEs in the sector and how they are adopting eco-innovations. This study seeks to address this research gap through utilization of the diffusion of innovation theory to explore the adoption of eco-innovations by the Scottish food and drink SMEs. A qualitative survey of the website of 52 businesses was used to collect data and analysed using content analysis to generate five categories of eco-innovations namely; Waste, Energy, GSCM, Carbon and Embedding. This data collected informed the next phase of the research where in-depth interviews was conducted with 18 businesses to understand their eco-innovation adoption processes. The findings revealed two groups of attitudes among the participants namely; the positive and the sceptics. The main motivators to adoption were found to be; moral principles and beliefs, eco-consumer drive, cost saving, legislation and the creation of jobs and new opportunities. The major barriers to eco-innovation were more profound and found to include; non-recyclable waste, non-compliance by suppliers, cost of adoption, lack of interest, the challenge of finding credible and reliable sources, attitudes and behaviours, and a general lack of education and awareness. Using the categorisation of eco-innovations that emerged from the website data analysis, the research developed a scale of greenness reflecting the adoption of eco-innovation along with a classification of adopter types namely; advanced, intermediate and basic adopters. The thesis contributes to the theory of diffusion by illustrating ways to capture and evidence innovation adoption without dependency on the time element and enabled a classification of eco- innovation adopters. The contribution to methodology is viewed from the application of a qualitative approach that enabled the categorisation of the forms of eco-innovation which resulted in the model depicting eco-innovation adoption and the profiling tool for innovation diffusion. Practical contributions are offered to enable businesses to understand their adoption of eco-innovation through the use of the model, adopter type classification and the application of a best practice guide to facilitate adoption. Recommendations for policy, practice and further areas for research are also proposed within the thesis.
Supervisor: Fulford, Heather ; Sutherland, Bill J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Adoption ; Eco-innovation ; Diffusion of innovation (DOI) ; SMEs ; Food and drink ; Green ; Environmental management