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Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1828; doi:10.3390/su9101828

Configurational Paths to Social Performance in SMEs: The Interplay of Innovation, Sustainability, Resources and Achievement Motivation

1
Institute for Entrepreneurship, University of Liechtenstein, Vaduz 9490, Liechtenstein
2
Department of Management and Market Research, Clausthal University of Technology, Clausthal-Zellerfeld 38678, Germany
3
Department of Business Administration, ESIC Business & Marketing School, Valencia 46021, Spain
4
School of Business and Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lappeenranta 53851, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 2 October 2017 / Accepted: 4 October 2017 / Published: 11 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Abstract

In today’s world of increasing ecological, social and economic issues, the question as to how businesses can become a vehicle towards more sustainable development has become more relevant than ever. Crucial to a more sustainable economy is the successful implementation of sustainable practices through entrepreneurial activities. Although there are attempts to describe how sustainable entrepreneurs differentiate themselves, the question of how some entrepreneurs manage to successfully create a sustainable enterprise, while others do not, remains unanswered. The aim of this research is to find causal patterns that explain the success of sustainable entrepreneurs, using their social performance as a measure. Using a configuration approach-based fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) of 598 Austrian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), we could identify four different combinations of the interconnected variables of innovation orientation, environmental sustainability, resource leveraging and achievement motivation, which all lead to social performance depending on the respective networking intensity of the firms. The only variable that is included in all combinations is environmental sustainability, thus indicating it may be either crucial to or a prerequisite for achieving social performance in SMEs. View Full-Text
Keywords: social performance; social entrepreneurship; configuration approach; networking; innovation; achievement motivation; resource leveraging; sustainability social performance; social entrepreneurship; configuration approach; networking; innovation; achievement motivation; resource leveraging; sustainability
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kraus, S.; Burtscher, J.; Niemand, T.; Roig-Tierno, N.; Syrjä, P. Configurational Paths to Social Performance in SMEs: The Interplay of Innovation, Sustainability, Resources and Achievement Motivation. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1828.

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