Diffusion intermediaries: A taxonomy based on renewable electricity technology in Sweden
Journal article, 2020

The purpose of this paper is to explore the characteristics and activities of intermediaries that are involved in innovation diffusion and, thus, contribute to the acceleration of sustainability transitions. The paper develops a taxonomy of four types of diffusion intermediaries based on official firm registry data on intermediaries involved in renewable electricity technologies in Sweden, which differ from each other in terms of business activity width and sectoral coverage. An analysis of the intermediaries’ business descriptions shows that: (1) most intermediaries are not exclusively involved in intermediation and many are active in several sectors, (2) the relative importance of different intermediation activities varies between different types of intermediaries, and (3) diffusion intermediation has a technology-specific component. These findings imply that researchers and policy makers should not treat diffusion intermediaries as a homogeneous collective. Moreover, there might be an (unexploited) potential for intermediaries and policy makers to exploit cross-sectoral learning.

Innovation intermediary


Ecology of intermediaries


Sustainability transition


Anna Bergek

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions

2210-4224 (ISSN)

Vol. 36 378-392

The roles of intermediaries in the transition to a sustainable energy system

Swedish Energy Agency (40642-1), 2015-08-01 -- 2018-12-31.

Subject Categories

Other Mechanical Engineering

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Business Administration

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Areas of Advance




More information

Latest update