Collaborating for Energy Efficient Shipping - An Ethnographic Study
Licentiatavhandling, 2018

The aim of this thesis is to better understand the emergent organising of an inter-organisational collaboration for energy efficiency in shipping, from a practice-oriented perspective. Interorganisational collaboration is often pointed to as a means towards sustainable development, and research on energy efficiency collaboration has emerged over the last decade. However, the number of studies on the topic remains low, and there is a lack of knowledge about how such arrangements are accomplished in practice. Previous research has indicated that collaboration can be a successful means in order to increase energy efficiency performances and efforts. However, studies on other types of inter-organisational collaboration have shown that despite all the good intentions, establishing and sustaining such endeavours can be difficult in practice. The exploration of energy efficiency collaboration from a practice-oriented perspective can thus allow for a better understanding about what makes such arrangements thrive or struggle. The thesis presents an ethnographic study of Sweship Energy; an interorganisational collaboration aiming for increased energy efficiency in the Swedish shipping sector. The execution of an in-depth, longitudinal study enabled for a close-up exploration of aspects like practices and experienced challenges within the initiative, and how these shifted over time. The research explores three aspects in particular: 1) how challenges experienced by the practitioners can be understood; 2) the development of collaborative practices; and 3) how the emergent organising of the collaboration can be characterised. The thesis contributes witha more nuanced understanding of the complexities in establishing and maintaining energy efficiency collaboration, and for the tasks of achieving positive outcomes from such endeavours. The study also contributes with relevant insights to practitioners participating in such initiatives. By extending the knowledge about experienced challenges and practices, the study can improve the awareness and reflections about practitioners’ actions in the collaborative setting. Thus, hopefully, the thesis also contributes to a greater chance for energy efficiency collaborations to succeed and survive by decreasing the risk of collaborative inertia.

Collaborative challenges

Energy efficiency

Inter-organisational collaboration

Ethnographic study

Practice-oriented perspective

Energy efficiency collaboration

Collaborative practices




Josefin Borg

Chalmers, Mekanik och maritima vetenskaper


Tvärvetenskapliga studier

Mänsklig interaktion med IKT

Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik med samhällsvetenskaplig inriktning

Thesis for the degree of Licentiate – Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences: 2018:21



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