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Translation Networks, Knowledge Brokers and Novelty Construction: Pragmatic Environmentalism in Sweden

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Pragmatic environmentalism, the increasing use of environmental criteria in industrial and transport activities, is analysed in this article as an instance of economic change and technological development. The article analyses the opportunities for and the obstacles to entrepreneurial activities, which are posed by pragmatic environmentalism, on the basis of interviews made in Sweden. Three types of opportunity are identified: networking brokerage, knowledge oriented (or 'translation') brokerage, and brokerage of organizational or technological novelties. The obstacles are rooted in the inertia of prevailing technological structures and in the fragmentation of practical environmental knowledge, both of which are turned into opportunity by environmental brokers. The resulting opportunity space is presented and it is argued that a collective or 'networked' type of entrepreneurial practice has developed in the openings provided by pragmatic environmentalism. It is also argued that this activity is not necessarily profitoriented or focused on creating new companies.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2001-12-01

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