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Adm. Sci. 2016, 6(1), 1; doi:10.3390/admsci6010001

The Dilemma of Incumbents in Sustainability Transitions: A Narrative Approach

Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, Energy, Döppersberg 19, Wuppertal 42103, Germany
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Academic Editor: Jacob Hörisch
Received: 13 August 2015 / Revised: 15 December 2015 / Accepted: 17 December 2015 / Published: 25 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sustainable Entrepreneurship)
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Abstract

In the context of the larger sustainability discourse, “sufficiency” is beginning to emerge as a new value throughout Western societies, and the question asked in this article is: Can we observe and conceptually identify opportunities to link successful business strategies of incumbents to principles of sufficiency? Thus, how feasible is sustainable entrepreneurship for incumbents? In this paper, a conceptual approach is developed combining insights from sociology, transition research, management and sustainable entrepreneurship research with a focus on narratives as a translation mechanism in situations where tensions emerge between corporate narratives and unexpected societal trends, e.g., the emergence of sufficient lifestyles. It will be shown that even though these are still a niche phenomenon, a focus on corporate narratives is an important element in understanding the role of incumbents in transitions to sustainability. View Full-Text
Keywords: incumbents and sufficiency; corporate narratives; dilemma management; sustainability transitions incumbents and sufficiency; corporate narratives; dilemma management; sustainability transitions
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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Augenstein, K.; Palzkill, A. The Dilemma of Incumbents in Sustainability Transitions: A Narrative Approach. Adm. Sci. 2016, 6, 1.

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