From Program to Practice: Translating Energy Management in a Manufacturing Firm

Solnørdal MT, Nilsen EA (2020). “From Program to Practice: Translating Energy Management in a Manufacturing Firm.” Sustainability 12(23), 10084. https://doi.org/10.3390/su122310084

Abstract: A promising way to stimulate industrial energy efficiency is via energy management (EnM) practices. There is, however, limited knowledge on the implementation process of EnM in manufacturing firms. Aiming to fill this research gap, this study explores the implementation of a corporate environmental program in an incumbent firm and the ensuing emergence of EnM practices. Translation theory and the ‘travel of management ideas’ is used as a theoretical lens in this case study when analysing the process over a period of 10 years. Furthermore, based on a review and synthesis of prior studies, a ‘best EnM practice’ is developed and used as a baseline when assessing the EnM practices of the case firm. Building on this premise, we highlight four main findings: the pattern of translation dynamics, the key role of the energy manager during the implementation process, the abstraction level of the environmental program and, ‘translation competence’ as a new EnM practice. Managerial and policy implications, as well as avenues for further research, are provided based on these results.

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