Abstract: The German pharmaceutical industry is stepping ahead with its implementation of a new transparency disclosure code for cooperation between pharmaceutical companies and health care professionals (HCPs) and health care organisations (HCOs). In Germany, this transparency code (“Transparenzkodex”) is applicable since January 2015, and data will be publicly available around mid-2016. No empirical work has been done that addresses the impact of the transparency code on cooperation between HCPs, HCOs and the pharmaceutical companies, including the possibilities of competitive analysis of the available data. In this paper, we interviewed experts from 11 pharmaceutical companies representing small, medium-sized as well as multinational corporations which represent 80% of the German pharmaceutical market. Besides interviews, the authors designed a game to evaluate possible financial investments in key opinion leaders. The market can be regarded as a zero sum game. By allowing public identification of such key HCPs and HCOs, the amount spent on them might increase and not decrease. In a way, the transparency code may foster more and not less spending; in our simulation game, the financial investment in marketing key HCPs and HCOs exceeded sustainable limits.
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.
Abstract: This paper conceptually synthesizes prior studies on sustainable entrepreneurship against the background of the multi-level perspective. It thereby relates separate streams of literature on sustainable entrepreneurship, sustainability transformations and ecopreneurship, which have previously not been systematically connected and synthesized, to the multi-level perspective. The paper furthermore provides suggestions on how the multi-level perspective can be advanced based on the inspirations of these previously only sparsely-connected streams of literature. Finally, implications for entrepreneurs, academia and politics are presented: means to increase the contribution of sustainable entrepreneurship to sustainability transitions are suggested, and the importance of growth and degrowth is discussed in the context of sustainable entrepreneurship.
Abstract: Green start-ups contribute towards a transition to a more sustainable economy by developing sustainable and environmentally friendly innovation and bringing it to the market. Due to specific product/service characteristics, entrepreneurial motivation and company strategies that might differ from that of other start-ups, these companies might struggle even more than usual with access to finance in the early stages. This conceptual paper seeks to explain these challenges through the theoretical lenses of entrepreneurial finance and behavioural finance. While entrepreneurial finance theory contributes to a partial understanding of green start-up finance, behavioural finance is able to solve a remaining explanatory deficit produced by entrepreneurial finance theory. Although some behavioural finance theorists are suggesting that the current understanding of economic rationality underlying behavioural finance research is inadequate, most scholars have not yet challenged these assumptions, which constrict a comprehensive and realistic description of the reality of entrepreneurial finance in green start-ups. The aim of the paper is thus, first, to explore the specifics of entrepreneurial finance in green start-ups and, second, to demonstrate the need for a more up-to-date conception of rationality in behavioural finance theory in order to enable realistic empirical research in this field.