Gemeinsam scheitern : Entwicklung eines netzwerkbasierten Innovationsmodells zur prognostizierenden (Nachhaltigkeits-)Analyse soziotechnischer Neuerungen

Hansen-Ampah, Adjan Troy; Häußling, Roger Adrian Maria (Thesis advisor); Gries, Thomas (Thesis advisor)

Aachen : RWTH Aachen University (2022, 2023)
Dissertation / PhD Thesis

Dissertation, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, 2022


Innovations are considered desirable in various societal domains including science. Especially regarding the so-called climate crisis, future (technological) innovations are often deemed the only viable solution. However, innovating actors as well as innovation research seldomly take into account whether the supposed solutions really are ecologically beneficial, i.e., not only regarding their development and production but also in the use phase and other contexts of their social embedding (e.g. concerning potential side effects and waste disposal). The criticism gathered here touches on the core of this dissertation, which assumes that: 1. Not only the production of an innovation, but also its use and societal embedding must be regarded to adequately evaluate the ecological sustainability and (long-term) success of an innovation; 2. Not only individual (entrepreneurial) actors but actor networks define throughout the entire innovation process what is to be considered as innovation success, and that acceptance in these actor networks determines this success (or failure); 3. The inclusion of the perspectives of different stakeholders from all innovation phases leads to a more complete picture and a better understanding of innovation processes; 4. The integration of these different perspectives - especially of actors in the (later) use phase / affected by the above-mentioned societal embedding of the innovation - in early phases of innovation development offers the possibility to proactively identify and address potential acceptance and sustainability problems. The aim of this dissertation is, on the one hand, the development of a techno-sociological and network-based innovation model that builds on the assumptions mentioned above. With the help of multiperspectivity, i.e. by capturing the subjectively perceived network actors and their acceptance, it is possible to identify potential innovation problems and reasons for failure in the earliest innovation phases. On the other hand, the plausibility of the assumptions and the model derived from them are verified empirically on the basis of a concrete innovation.


  • Chair of Sociology with a Focus on Technical and Organizational Sociology [761310]