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Sustainability entrepreneurship : design principles, processes, and paradigms

By Bradley D. Parrish

Abstract

Sustainability entrepreneurship is the process of creating new enterprises that survive and thrive by contributing to human wellbeing and the functioning of ecological\ud systems. This study is an investigation of the principles, processes, and paradigms of successful sustainability entrepreneurship.\ud \ud Based on a critical realist perspective, a multiple, embedded case study strategy was used to explore the unique design histories of successful sustainabilitydriven\ud enterprises in four different regions and industries - one each in Europe, North America, East Africa, and Asia-Pacific, and in the marketing and finance, hospitality, training, and export-import-wholesaling sectors. Qualitative data consisting of interviews, documents, and observations from site visits were collected and analysed using combined comparative and narrative analyses. These methods enabled the actor logics that guided the unfolding enterprise design process to be identified and described. Institutional theory was used to educe the implications of\ud these logics for the character and performance of emerging enterprises.\ud \ud The first of three principal findings of this study is a cognitive model of sustainability entrepreneurship that specifies five design principles that guide problem\ud solving. The second principal finding is a process model of sustainability entrepreneurship that demonstrates the way these design principles and the underpinning values become embedded in the enterprises' formal and informal structures, allowing the enterprises to maintain their intended purposes and character while necessarily\ud evolving to ensure survival into the future. The third principal outcome is the proposition that this distinct approach to enterprise design represents the emergence\ud of a new organising paradigm that eschews the dualistic divide between'opportunistic' business and 'altruistic' charity in favour of a new logic based on the coproduction\ud of multiple benefit streams through the perpetuation of human and natural resource quality

Publisher: School of Earth and Environment (Leeds)
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:etheses.whiterose.ac.uk:347

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