Fostering Sustainable Innovation: Exploring the role of Leadership Dynamics in Business Model Experimentation : A Qualitative Case Study about Norwegian startups in the Energy Sector
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- Master Thesis 
Leadership plays a critical role in achieving sustainable innovation within the energy sector. Research to date has focused on individual leadership functions and traits displaying that the unique set of skills of individual leaders allows them to act as change agents for innovation. Yet innovation is a process that involves collective leadership. To date, research on how such collective forms of multiple individuals work together remains to be explored. Therefore, this study examines how collective forms of leadership influence the process of business model experimentation to facilitate sustainable innovation. Leadership is likely to be highly dynamic and can take different forms of collective forms during the process of experimenting with the business model. The findings demonstrate that leadership functions and decision-making processes become increasingly more collaborative and informal, involving input from multiple people. Leadership shifts from a formalized individual function to informal collective approach as the startups grow in size over time. Interestingly, startups that engage in business model experimentation experience a shift back to elapsed phases of leadership. As more people join the startup and experimentation is elevated, leadership becomes formalized during business model experimentation, rather than being spread out over multiple people in a collective form. This study aims to shed light on the significance of collective leadership and business model experimentation fostering sustainable innovation, providing valuable insights for practitioners and academics.