Greening organisations
Purchasing, consumption and innovation
in Innovation by demand

This chapter explores whether the use of ‘consumer’ pressure in improving the environmental performance of companies, a tactic long advocated by environmentalists, stands critical scrutiny. It examines some previously ignored connections between processes of organisational purchasing and innovation in the context of the greening of organisations. It builds an argument around the idea of consumption and it does so to problematise explicitly the issue of collective agency as it relates to organisations. In developing the argument, the chapter asks: who is the consumer and what do consumers do? It uses the interplay between concepts of the individual consumer and concepts of the organisational consumer as a way to explicate some key ideas about the greening of consumption. Using the concept of the ‘supply chain’, it suggests that more attention needs to be paid to the mechanisms, both between and within firms and organisations, through which they engage in buying and selling. Such mechanisms are the organisation sites for the articulation of ‘demand’ and ‘consumption’.

Innovation by demand

An interdisciplinary approach to the study of demand and its role in innovation


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