Leadership in Transitions: The Case of Hydrogen

Philipp S. Eppe, Lennart Winkeler, Geo Kocheril, Torben Stührmann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Hydrogen from renewable energies (green hydrogen) plays a central role in achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. The development of hydrogen economies within the energy transition will pressure existing technical regimes, break up market structures and create new power relations. However, due to its disruptive nature, this early transformation phase is characterised by significant uncertainties and questions about the right transformation path. Hence, supply, demand and infrastructure challenges - a three-sided chicken-and-egg problem - are emerging, and the usual first-mover advantage does not exist in the local hydrogen economy. Therefore, developing approaches as isolated technical applications will not be sufficient to address these complex challenges with much-needed solutions. Against this background, this chapter provides guidance to sustainable entrepreneurs seeking to establish themselves in the evolving hydrogen economy to minimise entrepreneurial, strategic investment and business risks. First, we describe the specifics of transformations and apply theoretical approaches to the current hydrogen situation. Subsequently, leadership styles and decision criteria are described and examined for applicability in the current hydrogen situation. Based on this, we formulate a six-step guide for sustainable entrepreneurs. The six components of the guide include: developing a vision, understanding and reflecting on the environment, communicating, building a network, building trust and aiming for transdisciplinarity. For each of these points, we describe benefits and necessities. Finally, we present two methodological approaches (decision support systems and participatory modelling) that can be used to implement the recommended actions based on resilience criteria.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDe Gruyter Handbook of Sustainable Entrepreneurship Research
EditorsGjalt de Jong, Niels Faber, Emma Folmer, Tom Long, Berfu Ünal
PublisherDe Gruyter
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9783110756159
ISBN (Print)9783110755978
Publication statusPublished - 18-Sept-2023
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameDe Gruyter Handbooks in Business, Economics and Finance
PublisherDe Gruyter
ISSN (Print)2748-016X
ISSN (Electronic)2748-0178


Dive into the research topics of 'Leadership in Transitions: The Case of Hydrogen'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this