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Special Issue "Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Domingo Ribeiro-Soriano

University of Valencia, Faculty of Economics, Avinguda Tarongers, s/n, 46022, Valencia, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 0034 963 828 891
Interests: social entrepreneurship; service industries; management, business

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainable entrepreneurship is a new subarea of entrepreneurship [1] that is profiled as one of the concepts that, in conjunction with the business strategy, redirects organizational performance research towards a new direction [2,3]. In addition, with the same goal of improving performance, some authors indicate the suitability of adopting this type of multiple strategic orientation [4,5].

In this Special Issue, we will focus on sustainability from the entrepreneurial point of view. Specifically, in this area, we are called to change our approach towards a long-term growth, replacing the short-term vision adopted in recent times [6–8].

The aim of this Special Issue is to make a relevant contribution presenting work with new innovative knowledge in the field of entrepreneurial sustainability. Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following: entrepreneurial sustainability and management innovation; entrepreneurial sustainability and decision-making; entrepreneurial sustainability strategies; business creation within sustainability; entrepreneurial sustainability in marketing; sustainability innovation in business; energy; and climate in the industry.

Prof. Dr. Domingo Ribeiro-Soriano
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

References

  1. Kuckertz, A.; Wagner, M. The influence of sustainability orientation on entrepreneurial intentions - Investigating the role of business experience, J Bus Venturing 2010, 25, 524-539, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusvent.2009.09.001
  2. Kurowska-Pysz, J. Opportunities for Cross-Border Entrepreneurship Development in a Cluster Model Exemplified by the Polish–Czech Border Region. Sustainability 2016, 8, 230, DOI:10.3390/su8030230
  3. Peric, M.; Vitezic, V. Impact of global economic crisis on firm growth. Small Bus. Econ 2016, 46, 1-12, DOI: 10.1007/s11187-015-9671-z
  4. Choongo, P.; Van Burg, E.; Paas, L.J.; Masurel, E. Factors Influencing the Identification of Sustainable Opportunities by SMEs: Empirical Evidence from Zambia. Sustainability 2016, 8, 81, DOI:10.3390/su8010081
  5. Grinstein, A. The relationship between market orientation and alternative strategic orientations: a meta-analysis, Eur J Mark 2008, 42, 115-134, http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/03090560810840934
  6. Acs, Z.J.; Audretsch, D.B.; Braunerhjelm, P.; Carlsson, B. Growth and entrepreneurship. Small Bus. Econ 2012, 39, 289-300, DOI: 10.1007/s11187-010-9307-2
  7. Klein Woolthuis, R. J. Sustainable entrepreneurship in the Dutch construction industry. Sustainability 2010, 2, 505-523, DOI:10.3390/su2020505
  8. Shepherd, D.A.; Patzelt, H. The new field of sustainable entrepreneurship: studying entrepreneurial action linking' what is to be sustained' with 'what is to be developed', Entrep Theory Prac 2011, 35, 137-163, DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2010.00426.x

Keywords

  • Sustainability
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Management
  • Innovation
  • Marketing

Published Papers (31 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Configurational Paths to Social Performance in SMEs: The Interplay of Innovation, Sustainability, Resources and Achievement Motivation
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1828; doi:10.3390/su9101828
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 2 October 2017 / Accepted: 4 October 2017 / Published: 11 October 2017
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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
[...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
Open AccessArticle Reveal or Conceal? Signaling Strategies for Building Legitimacy in Cleantech Firms
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1815; doi:10.3390/su9101815
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 29 September 2017 / Accepted: 29 September 2017 / Published: 10 October 2017
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Abstract
New entrants in technology-intense industries are in a race to build legitimacy in order to compete with established players. Legitimacy has been identified as a driver of venture survival and growth; it helps mitigate third-party uncertainty and so facilitates access to resources, engagement
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New entrants in technology-intense industries are in a race to build legitimacy in order to compete with established players. Legitimacy has been identified as a driver of venture survival and growth; it helps mitigate third-party uncertainty and so facilitates access to resources, engagement with customers and other stakeholders. Nevertheless, we know little about how legitimacy is built and how new entrants build legitimacy in complex technology-intensive industries. In this research we explore how Norwegian cleantech firms use signaling and strategic actions to build legitimacy. We analyze five cases while investigating their actions in different phases of the venture’s evolution. The results suggest that, contrary to signaling theory expectations, young clean-tech firms do not always build legitimacy by conveying information on their strengths. Instead, we observe that they use signaling strategies to address the specific concerns of different stakeholders. This is very much contingent upon the evolutionary stage of the venture and the firm’s current weaknesses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Who Takes More Sustainability-Oriented Entrepreneurial Actions? The Role of Entrepreneurs’ Values, Beliefs and Orientations
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1636; doi:10.3390/su9101636
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 9 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (461 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We examine the relationships between entrepreneurs’ values, beliefs and orientations with their firms’ engagement in sustainability-oriented entrepreneurial actions, using a sample of 352 newly established businesses from two Asian countries (Bangladesh and Iran). Our results reveal a dual role of entrepreneurs’ values, beliefs
[...] Read more.
We examine the relationships between entrepreneurs’ values, beliefs and orientations with their firms’ engagement in sustainability-oriented entrepreneurial actions, using a sample of 352 newly established businesses from two Asian countries (Bangladesh and Iran). Our results reveal a dual role of entrepreneurs’ values, beliefs and orientations when taking sustainability-oriented actions. We confirm that individual differences in the set of values, beliefs and orientations can foster or hinder the sustainability-oriented actions across organizations. Our paper contributes to the growing literature of sustainable entrepreneurship, by providing answers for recent calls for better understanding which entrepreneurial ventures engage more in sustainability-oriented actions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Entrepreneurial Orientation: A Business Strategic Approach for Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1667; doi:10.3390/su9091667
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
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Abstract
This paper proposes sustainable entrepreneurial orientation (SEO) as a multidimensional construct that offers researchers the possibility of empirically testing their theoretical proposals in the sustainable entrepreneurship field. The authors propose an integration of different theories. In accordance with the dynamic capabilities view, SEO
[...] Read more.
This paper proposes sustainable entrepreneurial orientation (SEO) as a multidimensional construct that offers researchers the possibility of empirically testing their theoretical proposals in the sustainable entrepreneurship field. The authors propose an integration of different theories. In accordance with the dynamic capabilities view, SEO is approached under an organizational paradigm of strategic orientations delimited by competitive culture and multiple orientation perspectives. Furthermore, SEO’s nature is conceived at a firm-based entrepreneurship level and is based on an integrated triple bottom line sustainability. This approach is conceptualized using a categorization scheme and defined in accordance with the organizational predisposition perspective. Several research lines are proposed, all based on relational models with SEO as the key concept. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Building Corporate Reputation through Sustainable Entrepreneurship: The Mediating Effect of Ethical Behavior
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1663; doi:10.3390/su9091663
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 1 August 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
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Abstract
This article investigates how a management approach based on sustainable entrepreneurship can positively affect corporate reputation. The analysis showed that this effect is enhanced by the mediating effect of good governance based on ethical behavior. The empirical study was conducted using data for
[...] Read more.
This article investigates how a management approach based on sustainable entrepreneurship can positively affect corporate reputation. The analysis showed that this effect is enhanced by the mediating effect of good governance based on ethical behavior. The empirical study was conducted using data for 104 large Spanish firms defined as sustainable by the Corporate Reputation Business Monitor (MERCO) ranking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle The Sustainable Personality in Entrepreneurship: The Relationship between Big Six Personality, Entrepreneurial Self-Efficacy, and Entrepreneurial Intention in the Chinese Context
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1649; doi:10.3390/su9091649
Received: 30 July 2017 / Revised: 9 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 17 September 2017
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Abstract
This study examined the relationships between Big Six personality and entrepreneurial intention, inclusive of the mediating role of entrepreneurial self-efficacy in the Chinese context. Survey data from 280 college students reveal that Emotional Stability, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, and Interpersonal Relationship were positively associated with
[...] Read more.
This study examined the relationships between Big Six personality and entrepreneurial intention, inclusive of the mediating role of entrepreneurial self-efficacy in the Chinese context. Survey data from 280 college students reveal that Emotional Stability, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, and Interpersonal Relationship were positively associated with entrepreneurial intention. Agreeableness and Openness, however, had no effect on entrepreneurial intention in this study. Mediation analysis further indicated that Emotional Stability, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, and Interpersonal Relationship affected entrepreneurial self-efficacy, thus playing an indirect impact on entrepreneurial intention. In contrast, Agreeableness and Openness had no mediating role in the present study. These findings validate the bridge mechanism of entrepreneurial self-efficacy underlying the relationships between Big Six personality and entrepreneurial intention. These results highlight the direct role of sustainable personality as a predictor of entrepreneurial intention, especially as we note the decisive effect of the Interpersonal Relationship dimension in the Chinese context for the first time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Long-Term Educational Sustainability: Educational Innovation in Social Vulnerability Contexts
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1626; doi:10.3390/su9091626
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 13 September 2017
PDF Full-text (222 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper investigates the behavior of children from low socioeconomic status families and examines the effects of a socioemotional education program on aggression in children. The results of the program are compared according to the children’s gender and age, the family structure, the
[...] Read more.
This paper investigates the behavior of children from low socioeconomic status families and examines the effects of a socioemotional education program on aggression in children. The results of the program are compared according to the children’s gender and age, the family structure, the parents’ educational attainment, and social status. The results show that applying socioemotional education programs reduces children’s aggression and encourages positive development during adolescence. This positive development fosters open, expressive behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
Open AccessArticle Towards a Conceptual Framework of Sustainable Business Model Innovation in the Agri-Food Sector: A Systematic Literature Review
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1620; doi:10.3390/su9091620
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 10 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
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Abstract
This paper aims to increase our understanding of sustainable business model innovation in the agri-food sector in terms of its theoretical and practical approaches for sustainability and their degree of complexity and maturity. The paper is based on a systematic literature review of
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This paper aims to increase our understanding of sustainable business model innovation in the agri-food sector in terms of its theoretical and practical approaches for sustainability and their degree of complexity and maturity. The paper is based on a systematic literature review of 570 journal articles on business models and business model innovation published between 1990 and 2014. Of these articles, only 21 have business model innovation as their main focus. The review shows that research interest in the agri-food sector has increased in these years. The paper proposes a conceptual framework for sustainable business model innovation in the agri-food sector that can be used to meet the challenges encountered in taking a sustainability perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
Open AccessArticle What about Sustainability? An Empirical Analysis of Consumers’ Purchasing Behavior in Fashion Context
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1617; doi:10.3390/su9091617
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 31 August 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1084 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent times, the concept of sustainability has gradually taken on a leading role, particularly because of its potential ability to influence consumers’ view and, consequently, their buying choices. Based on this consideration, the work, by means of an empirical analysis, pursues two
[...] Read more.
In recent times, the concept of sustainability has gradually taken on a leading role, particularly because of its potential ability to influence consumers’ view and, consequently, their buying choices. Based on this consideration, the work, by means of an empirical analysis, pursues two research questions: (i) is it possible to imagine a theoretical model in the fashion world able to show whether “importance”, “expectations” and “social influence” effectively affect consumers’ willingness to reward a sustainable fashion brand via their purchasing behavior? and (ii) how much are consumers willing to pay to get a sustainable item of clothing? In order to answer these two research questions, a Multiple Linear Regression Model is tested, which offers an interesting result: consumers attach little relevance to the importance accorded to a brand’s sustainability, since they orient themselves on the basis of their expectations and their own group’s thoughts. Another finding is that consumers state that they are willing to pay a price not higher than 20% to get a sustainable item of clothing. However, the paper presents two limitations, which are linked to the use of the questionnaire for the understanding of the respondents’ opinions and to the small reference sample, composed of 271 people with a high level of education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Identification of Stakeholders of Public Interest Organisations
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1609; doi:10.3390/su9091609
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 10 September 2017
PDF Full-text (209 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Organisations are responsible for the impact of their decisions and actions on society and environment. This responsibility should be exercised by, among others, transparent and ethical conduct, which contributes to sustainable development, including the welfare and health of society, consideration of the stakeholders’
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Organisations are responsible for the impact of their decisions and actions on society and environment. This responsibility should be exercised by, among others, transparent and ethical conduct, which contributes to sustainable development, including the welfare and health of society, consideration of the stakeholders’ expectations, maintaining compliance with the current law, and coherence with international standards of conduct, and should be integrated with the organisation’s actions and exercised in its relations. An organisation’s social responsibility, aside from the fact that it is an obligation towards society, can bring the organisation measurable benefits in the long-term, such as an increase in the interest of investors, for whom a company’s financial credibility is often dependent on its social credibility, improved consumer and stakeholder loyalty, as well as increased competitiveness. The purpose of this article, the consideration of which is embedded in stakeholder theory, is to answer the question of whether Polish stock exchange companies identify their stakeholders, and to identify the possible effects of such identification on the organisations. From among 102 organisations that took part in CATI (computer-assisted telephone interview) studies, 28% identify their stakeholders. It is interesting that organisations that identify their stakeholders generated positive financial results more often than organisations that do not identify them. Organisations that identify their stakeholders are more transparent, i.e., disclose their non-financial information. On the other hand, organisations that do not identify their stakeholders do not practically disclose any non-financial information. In the light of the analysis of the subject literature and the obtained results of our research, we deem it necessary to analyse the stakeholders and assess their expectations in order to select the optimal level of co-operation with the stakeholders—in terms of the entity’s vision—and consider their needs in the company value generation strategy. This action offers managers more resources to achieve success. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
Open AccessArticle Impact of Firms’ Cooperative Innovation Strategy on Technological Convergence Performance: The Case of Korea’s ICT Industry
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1601; doi:10.3390/su9091601
Received: 26 July 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 4 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
PDF Full-text (1318 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Various strategies and policies have been established to facilitate technological convergence as it becomes increasingly important. However, the current status and progress direction of technological convergence is still not clear, as it is difficult to define and measure convergence phenomena. In this situation,
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Various strategies and policies have been established to facilitate technological convergence as it becomes increasingly important. However, the current status and progress direction of technological convergence is still not clear, as it is difficult to define and measure convergence phenomena. In this situation, this study examines how technological convergence has continued in Korea’s information and communication technology (ICT) industry, and, further, which cooperative innovation strategies are more effective in technological convergence. In this study, the convergence level of Korean ICT is measured using patent data from 2011 to 2015. Further, this study analyzes the impact of cooperative innovation strategies on Korean ICT convergence. It is believed that, by classifying technological convergence patent applications by the scope of convergence, the declining inter-field and inter-sector technological convergence has caused a decrease in the number of technological convergence patent applications since 2011. An analysis of the correlations between the strategies and performance of technological convergence indicates that ICT firms’ licensing activities play a positive role in creating technologically convergent performance. Specifically, cooperative innovation strategies for not only licensing but also external research contracts and joint research are determined to positively affect performance in inter-sector technological convergence. Meanwhile, only the licensing strategy in inter-field convergence correlates with technological convergence performance. These results will help interpret the driving forces of technological convergence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle A Methodology for Analysing Sustainability in Energy Scenarios
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1590; doi:10.3390/su9091590
Received: 26 July 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
Energy is a key factor in sustainability and a very attractive but risky sector for entrepreneurs. The need for sustainability in the energy sector forces the introduction of renewable sources in any scenario considered, but this investment must be thoroughly assessed. A methodology
[...] Read more.
Energy is a key factor in sustainability and a very attractive but risky sector for entrepreneurs. The need for sustainability in the energy sector forces the introduction of renewable sources in any scenario considered, but this investment must be thoroughly assessed. A methodology is required that enables the deduction of a realistic level of participation of renewable energy in the energy scenario in each particular case. Such a methodology should take into account all the factors involved and, by conciliating the different constraints imposed by each of them, find the maximum level of renewable energy possible in the system. This paper introduces a new methodology to address this problem by taking into account demand, generation, level of resources and technologies; and applies it to a particular case in a region of Democratic Republic of Congo. The uncertainties present in the energy sector, as well as the numerous factors at play, call for scenario planning, and this paper presents a structured procedure for viewing plausible futures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Exclude Me Not: The Untold Story of Immigrant Entrepreneurs in Sweden
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1584; doi:10.3390/su9091584
Received: 24 July 2017 / Revised: 23 August 2017 / Accepted: 29 August 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
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Abstract
This article examines the perspectives of immigrant entrepreneurs on the barriers they face regarding their inclusion in public procurement in Sweden through the so-called supplier diversity programs. Drawing upon modern stakeholder theory and transaction cost economics, this study aims to identify potential barriers
[...] Read more.
This article examines the perspectives of immigrant entrepreneurs on the barriers they face regarding their inclusion in public procurement in Sweden through the so-called supplier diversity programs. Drawing upon modern stakeholder theory and transaction cost economics, this study aims to identify potential barriers such entrepreneurs face in succeeding as suppliers to the public sector. Data were collected through interviews with immigrant entrepreneurs who had experience with the public procurement tender process in Sweden. The results reveal that immigrant entrepreneurs doing business with public procurement face several barriers, ranging from economic to social ones such as information, advertising, human resources, and undercapitalization. The interviewees believe that such barriers weaken their performance and hinder their success in public procurement tenders. When it comes to supplier diversity programs, the entrepreneurs under study were either unaware of such programs in public procurement in Sweden or did not believe in their effectiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
Open AccessArticle Mapping Entrepreneurs’ Orientation towards Sustainability in Interaction versus Network Marketing Practices
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1580; doi:10.3390/su9091580
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 26 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
PDF Full-text (432 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
By gliding sustainability into the mainstream areas of marketing strategy, the purpose of the current research is to analyze the influence of the entrepreneurs’ orientation towards sustainability on relational marketing practices—i.e., interaction versus network marketing. Placed within a comparative setup, the investigation included
[...] Read more.
By gliding sustainability into the mainstream areas of marketing strategy, the purpose of the current research is to analyze the influence of the entrepreneurs’ orientation towards sustainability on relational marketing practices—i.e., interaction versus network marketing. Placed within a comparative setup, the investigation included a sample of 104 business owners of Romanian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from the services sector, the selection of participants being subject to well-defined pre-established criteria. Acknowledging the research gap which addresses the type of business strategy fit for entrepreneurs’ orientation towards sustainability, the conceptual model integrated a categorical moderator variable (Planned/Emergent Business Strategies) as indicative of the potential heterogeneity among the hypothesized relationships. Both measurement and structural models were appraised by means of a structural equation modeling technique, respectively, component-based partial least squares (PLS-SEM). As the findings concluded, the entrepreneurs’ orientation towards sustainability accounts for almost 35% of variance in interaction marketing practices and 16% of variance in network marketing practices, thus positing a higher influence on the former. Moreover, evidence was provided that the reification of the entrepreneurs’ orientation towards sustainability in relational marketing practices was not significantly dependent on the type of business strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Circular Economy and Decision Models among European SMEs
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1507; doi:10.3390/su9091507
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
While targeting waste reduction and maintaining the value of products and resources in the system as much as possible, undertaking circular economy practices at the company level is a way of achieving entrepreneurial sustainability. This paper explores entrepreneurial decision models for adopting circular
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While targeting waste reduction and maintaining the value of products and resources in the system as much as possible, undertaking circular economy practices at the company level is a way of achieving entrepreneurial sustainability. This paper explores entrepreneurial decision models for adopting circular economy practices, focusing on European SMEs. Decision tree models are applied on data from Flash Eurobarometer 441 in order to uncover business strategies in relation to the implementation of circular economy practices at the company level and with the optimal level and nature of investments in the circular economy for improving economic performances of companies. The main findings of the article offer a better understanding of the relation between characteristics of European SMEs and their decisions in the field of circular economy. Such results are relevant from both macro and micro perspectives, as they can be used for customizing circular economy programs and intervention strategies for various groups of SMEs, as well as for supporting sustainable entrepreneurial decisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Smart Cities as Organizational Fields: A Framework for Mapping Sustainability-Enabling Configurations
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1506; doi:10.3390/su9091506
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 14 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
PDF Full-text (1429 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite the impressive growth of smart city initiatives worldwide, an organizational theory of smart city has yet to be developed, and we lack models addressing the unprecedented organizational and management challenges that emerge in smart city contexts. Traditional models are often of little
[...] Read more.
Despite the impressive growth of smart city initiatives worldwide, an organizational theory of smart city has yet to be developed, and we lack models addressing the unprecedented organizational and management challenges that emerge in smart city contexts. Traditional models are often of little use, because smart cities pursue different goals than traditional organizations, are based on networked, cross-boundary activity systems, rely on distributed innovation processes, and imply adaptive policy-making. Complex combinations of factors may lead to vicious or virtuous cycles in smart city initiatives, but we know very little about how these factors may be identified and mapped. Based on an inductive study of a set of primary and secondary sources, we develop a framework for the configurational analysis of smart cities viewed as place-specific organizational fields. This framework identifies five key dimensions in the configurations of smart city fields; these five dimensions are mapped through five sub-frameworks, which can be used both separately as well as for an integrated analysis. Our contribution is conceived to support longitudinal studies, natural experiments and comparative analyses on smart city fields, and to improve our understanding of how different combinations of factors affect the capability of smart innovations to translate into city resilience, sustainability and quality of life. In addition, our results suggest that new forms of place-based entrepreneurship constitute the engine that allows for the dynamic collaboration between government, citizens and research centers in successful smart city organizational fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability Matter and Financial Performance of Companies
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1498; doi:10.3390/su9091498
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 13 August 2017 / Accepted: 20 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
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Abstract
The relationship between social and environmental performance and financial performance in companies has been a subject widely debated in the literature but the results obtained to date are not conclusive. This research employs the fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) and offers new evidence
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The relationship between social and environmental performance and financial performance in companies has been a subject widely debated in the literature but the results obtained to date are not conclusive. This research employs the fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) and offers new evidence on the relationship between both types of performance in a sample of companies listed in the Spanish capital market. Financial performance is measured by the return on equity (ROE) ratio, variable that is widely used in Finance and Accounting related research. The corporate performance of the company is measured by its inclusion or not in the sustainability index used as reference for the Spanish capital market, the FTSEGood4 IBEX. The model also incorporates other business variables that might affect the relationships between both types of performance, such as return on assets (ROA) ratio, company size, debt ratio, and industry. The results suggest that, for specific industries, return on assets is a necessary condition for companies with leverage to reduce the cost of debt due to their sustainability profile and consequently boost their ROE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Priorities of Coworking Space Operation Based on Comparison of the Hosts and Users’ Perspectives
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1494; doi:10.3390/su9081494
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 10 August 2017 / Accepted: 10 August 2017 / Published: 22 August 2017
PDF Full-text (563 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
More than 1,180,000 people use several thousand coworking spaces these days, but the running of coworking spaces is a rather fragile business model. Coworking spaces need entrepreneurial sustainability as well. Therefore, this study identifies success factors for sustainable business through analysis of users
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More than 1,180,000 people use several thousand coworking spaces these days, but the running of coworking spaces is a rather fragile business model. Coworking spaces need entrepreneurial sustainability as well. Therefore, this study identifies success factors for sustainable business through analysis of users and hosts’ demands and priorities about coworking spaces. To identify the priorities, we conducted a questionnaire survey with 60 hosts and 56 users by using the analytic hierarchy process method. We found that hosts thought community and communication most important, followed by space and interior, service diversity, and price plan, and users considered relationship facilitation the most important, followed by service diversity, price plan, and networking event and party. After discussions with coworking space hosts and users to understand the differences in viewpoints, we combined the results to find the highest priorities. Finally, we identified relationship facilitation, service diversity, and price plan as having the highest priorities for sustainable coworking space operation for both sides. This study has major implications for research into improving management of coworking spaces as it asks users and hosts to select and focus on elements of priority in their decision making for entrepreneurial sustainability and management innovation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Can the “Euro-Leaf” Logo Affect Consumers’ Willingness-To-Buy and Willingness-To-Pay for Organic Food and Attract Consumers’ Preferences? An Empirical Study in Greece
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1450; doi:10.3390/su9081450
Received: 20 June 2017 / Revised: 3 August 2017 / Accepted: 7 August 2017 / Published: 16 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (11654 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The “Euro-leaf” organic certification logo was adopted and made compulsory by the European Union (EU) a few years ago; the level of consumers’ recognition of this logo has been explored. This paper provides important insights into the effectiveness of the logo in the
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The “Euro-leaf” organic certification logo was adopted and made compulsory by the European Union (EU) a few years ago; the level of consumers’ recognition of this logo has been explored. This paper provides important insights into the effectiveness of the logo in the Greek market. The “Euro-leaf” logo was compared with the two previous EU organic logos; i.e., the voluntary “Organic Farming” and the withdrawn “Bio”. In total, 472 face-to-face interviews were conducted using actual presentations of five officially certified food products. The aim of this research was to investigate the consumers’ willingness-to-buy (WTB), willingness-to-pay (WTP), and their preference towards each of the three logos used for the certification of organic products. Our analysis concludes that for the time being the new logo has failed to develop into a powerful instrument for affecting consumers’ WTB and WTP. Furthermore, it was found to have been the least influential factor that determined their preferences. Design changes and improvements might be necessary in order to better communicate the organic food message. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Knowledge Interaction and Spatial Dynamics in Industrial Districts
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1421; doi:10.3390/su9081421
Received: 31 May 2017 / Revised: 27 July 2017 / Accepted: 8 August 2017 / Published: 11 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (910 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The knowledge economy plays a leading role in current socioeconomic development and has changed industrial development. This study addresses whether changes in industrial development have improved the knowledge innovation, technical level, and productive efficiency of industries. Taiwanese industries were typically labor and technology-intensive
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The knowledge economy plays a leading role in current socioeconomic development and has changed industrial development. This study addresses whether changes in industrial development have improved the knowledge innovation, technical level, and productive efficiency of industries. Taiwanese industries were typically labor and technology-intensive and policy-oriented manufacturing industries in the past. This study analyzes the change in the spatial distribution of industries in southern Taiwan, and further examines the effect of knowledge interactions between industries and the region on industrial development, as well as the restrictions and opportunities for future development. Industries in southern Taiwan have formed a solid foundation based on policies promoted in the past. Nevertheless, an over-reliance on policy guidance has impeded breakthroughs and motivation to learn. Analytical results indicate that industries with stable and changing clusters achieve sustainable economic growth by creating links for innovative knowledge interactions through collaboration with suppliers and competitors. Accordingly, knowledge sources depend not only on internal research and development but also on external interactions to stimulate innovation. Restated, the input of key knowledge generates a high output, provides opportunities for industry transformation, and decreases resource consumption to achieve environmental sustainability during development. Additionally, the ripple effect of innovation, research, and development enhances structural evolution in industries, generating sustainable economic development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Economic Sustainability in Franchising: A Model to Predict Franchisor Success or Failure
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1419; doi:10.3390/su9081419
Received: 9 July 2017 / Revised: 3 August 2017 / Accepted: 7 August 2017 / Published: 11 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (463 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As a business model, franchising makes a major contribution to gross domestic product (GDP). A model that predicts franchisor success or failure is therefore necessary to ensure economic sustainability. In this study, such a model was developed by applying Lasso regression to a
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As a business model, franchising makes a major contribution to gross domestic product (GDP). A model that predicts franchisor success or failure is therefore necessary to ensure economic sustainability. In this study, such a model was developed by applying Lasso regression to a sample of franchises operating between 2002 and 2013. For franchises with the highest likelihood of survival, the franchise fees and the ratio of company-owned to franchised outlets were suited to the age of the franchise. Surviving franchises were those that opened franchised outlets at a sustainable pace, increased the franchise fee as intangible assets increased, and effectively managed profitability and efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle No Money? No Problem! The Value of Sustainability: Social Capital Drives the Relationship among Customer Identification and Citizenship Behavior in Sharing Economy
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1400; doi:10.3390/su9081400
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 2 August 2017 / Accepted: 4 August 2017 / Published: 8 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (589 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work provides a novel approach to the corporate social responsibility (CSR) concept and to CSR activities, using social capital as the driver of consumer citizenship behavior in the sharing economy business system. An online consumer questionnaire was carried out in Taiwan to
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This work provides a novel approach to the corporate social responsibility (CSR) concept and to CSR activities, using social capital as the driver of consumer citizenship behavior in the sharing economy business system. An online consumer questionnaire was carried out in Taiwan to examine seven proposed hypotheses to investigate the factors affecting behavior intention. The sample includes 445 participants and investigated their consumer citizenship behavior in response to companies’ participation in CSR activities and sharing of economic opportunities, in this case, Airbnb Inc. This study uses structural equation modeling (SEM) to analyze the data. The result explores a new form of entrepreneurship marketing strategy and indicates that CSR has a positive effect on consumer–company (C–C) identification and the perceived value of sustainability. This study also establishes that social capital is the key mediator of the relationship between C–C identification and the perceived value of sustainability in consumer citizenship behavior. This research contributes to the idea that marketers should build well-designed CSR activities and deliver the perceived value of sustainability and consumer identification through social capital accumulation, which has proven to positively increase consumer citizenship behavior in the sharing economy environment. Consequently, the authors can suggest that entrepreneurs/executives should understand that CSR affects the perception of sustainability, consumer–company identification and improve consumer citizenship behavior. Most importantly, CSR activities focusing on sustainability issues and operating with social capital may lower costs and improve efficiencies as well. This finding could be viewed as a pioneering benchmark for further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle The Sustainability of Businesses in Kigali, Rwanda: An Analysis of the Barriers Faced by Women Entrepreneurs
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1372; doi:10.3390/su9081372
Received: 5 July 2017 / Revised: 31 July 2017 / Accepted: 1 August 2017 / Published: 4 August 2017
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Abstract
Given their sheer number and “motherly instincts” one would expect that the effective participation of women in entrepreneurial activities will offer a far reaching impact on the economy, yet their contribution is barely apparent in a number of developing countries. Assuming that women
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Given their sheer number and “motherly instincts” one would expect that the effective participation of women in entrepreneurial activities will offer a far reaching impact on the economy, yet their contribution is barely apparent in a number of developing countries. Assuming that women are unique, this paper sought to determine the specific barriers faced by women entrepreneurs in doing business in Kigali. Anchored on the quantitative approach, the requisite data was obtained from 398 women entrepreneurs operating formal and informal business in the city of Kigali using structured self-administered questionnaires. Aiming for descriptive statistics, the data collected was analysed using the latest version of Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software. The results suggest that women entrepreneurs face a number of challenges in running their businesses in Kigali. These challenges are not limited to among others, the lack of collateral to obtain loans, high taxes, a lack of information technology skills and access, high interest rates, high transport costs, a lack of entrepreneurial skills, but are also compounded by cultural and psychological factors. Therefore, our view is that, it will take time and the combined efforts of women entrepreneurs themselves, society, their families, government, researchers and other stakeholders to overcome these challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Entrepreneurial Orientation in Family Firms
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1212; doi:10.3390/su9071212
Received: 19 June 2017 / Revised: 4 July 2017 / Accepted: 4 July 2017 / Published: 10 July 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (844 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study examines how an entrepreneurial orientation moderates the effect of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on family firm performance. Analysis of 174 family firms was conducted using second-generation, partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) in SmartPLS 3.2.6. A survey of family firms
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This study examines how an entrepreneurial orientation moderates the effect of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on family firm performance. Analysis of 174 family firms was conducted using second-generation, partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) in SmartPLS 3.2.6. A survey of family firms and compliant sustainability reports, made under the rules of the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) for these firms yielded the empirical data. This study contributes to the literature in several ways. First, the analysis shows that GRI reports offer a suitable way for analyzing CSR because the proposed measures are reliable and valid. Second, CSR actions by family firms exert a substantial positive influence on these firms’ performance. Third, entrepreneurial orientation is a good predictor of the success of family firms, positively influencing their performance. Fourth, entrepreneurial orientation positively moderates the effect of CSR on family firm performance, enhancing this effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Determinants of Immigration in Europe. The Relevance of Life Expectancy and Environmental Sustainability
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1093; doi:10.3390/su9071093
Received: 10 May 2017 / Revised: 19 June 2017 / Accepted: 20 June 2017 / Published: 23 June 2017
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Abstract
This research analyzes the main variables that determine immigration in Europe and includes aspects related to the economy, population, healthcare, and environmental sustainability. The empirical analysis consists of two sets of data: one made up of all EU member states (EU-28) and the
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This research analyzes the main variables that determine immigration in Europe and includes aspects related to the economy, population, healthcare, and environmental sustainability. The empirical analysis consists of two sets of data: one made up of all EU member states (EU-28) and the other containing countries that form a part of the Eurozone (EU-19), using the Generalized Method of Moments. The sample covers the period between 2000 and 2014, and the data are analyzed separately and comparatively in the most relevant stages during that time (economic prosperity, crisis, and recovery). The most notable results indicate that the variables related to GDP and public debt largely serve to justify the level of immigration since the crisis (2008–2014), while the life expectancy and levels of pollution are determining factors in all three stages examined here. The study concludes that countries in the Eurozone are more sensitive to variation in the variables studied compared to all the EU member states and thus the impact of immigration among the EU-19 countries is more notable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
Open AccessArticle Mapping the Field: A Bibliometric Analysis of Green Innovation
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1011; doi:10.3390/su9061011
Received: 24 April 2017 / Revised: 8 June 2017 / Accepted: 8 June 2017 / Published: 12 June 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (713 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The topic of green innovation (GI) has increasingly attained organizational relevance due to its contribution to the satisfaction of environmental needs while concurrently enabling companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors, and hence attain sustainable competitive advantages. In this context, we conducted a
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The topic of green innovation (GI) has increasingly attained organizational relevance due to its contribution to the satisfaction of environmental needs while concurrently enabling companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors, and hence attain sustainable competitive advantages. In this context, we conducted a detailed analysis of 618 papers on green innovation from the Web of Science (WoS) database for the 1971–2015 period. This paper develops a bibliometric analysis with the aim of assessing the key papers in the field and identifying the most substantive contributions to the literature. This study presents the following findings: (i) the chronological development of the discipline; (ii) the research trends and popular issues in this field; (iii) the antecedent variables acting as key drivers of GI in these studies; and (iv) the main outcomes of GI. Therefore, this paper provides the past, the present and the potential future of this specific topic and serves as an orientation and guide for researchers who are new to the topic of GI; it also enhances their knowledge concerning which journals, authors and articles they may consult while creating their theoretical framework or designing future research models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Country Selection Model for Sustainable Construction Businesses Using Hybrid of Objective and Subjective Information
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 800; doi:10.3390/su9050800
Received: 23 March 2017 / Revised: 4 May 2017 / Accepted: 5 May 2017 / Published: 11 May 2017
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Abstract
An important issue for international businesses and academia is selecting countries in which to expand in order to achieve entrepreneurial sustainability. This study develops a country selection model for sustainable construction businesses using both objective and subjective information. The objective information consists of
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An important issue for international businesses and academia is selecting countries in which to expand in order to achieve entrepreneurial sustainability. This study develops a country selection model for sustainable construction businesses using both objective and subjective information. The objective information consists of 14 variables related to country risk and project performance in 32 countries over 25 years. This hybrid model applies subjective weighting from industrial experts to objective information using a fuzzy LinPreRa-based Analytic Hierarchy Process. The hybrid model yields a more accurate country selection compared to a purely objective information-based model in experienced countries. Interestingly, the hybrid model provides some different predictions with only subjective opinions in unexperienced countries, which implies that expert opinion is not always reliable. In addition, feedback from five experts in top international companies is used to validate the model’s completeness, effectiveness, generality, and applicability. The model is expected to aid decision makers in selecting better candidate countries that lead to sustainable business success. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Determining Factors for Economic Efficiency in the Organic Olive Oil Sector
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 784; doi:10.3390/su9050784
Received: 19 March 2017 / Revised: 28 April 2017 / Accepted: 5 May 2017 / Published: 9 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (236 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Spain looms large worldwide in organic olive oil production. However, this productive potential contrasts with the low internal consumption of the product. This situation makes Spain a world leader in its export. Companies in this sector have clear deficiencies, which must be corrected
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Spain looms large worldwide in organic olive oil production. However, this productive potential contrasts with the low internal consumption of the product. This situation makes Spain a world leader in its export. Companies in this sector have clear deficiencies, which must be corrected to ensure their survival over time. In this context, the aim of this study is to analyse the level of efficiency, in economic terms, of organic olive oil producers and to identify the factors explaining the best organizational practices. To do so, Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) have been used. The results reveal low levels of economic efficiency and the variables determining said efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
Open AccessArticle Dynamics of Brokerage Positions in Clusters: Evidence from the Spanish Foodstuffs Industry
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 290; doi:10.3390/su9020290
Received: 25 November 2016 / Revised: 8 February 2017 / Accepted: 10 February 2017 / Published: 17 February 2017
PDF Full-text (906 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Shifting away from traditional approaches orientated towards the analysis of the benefits associated with brokerage, this paper provides valuable insights into the dynamics of this network position and the opportunities to innovate that it provides. Using fine grain micro data collected in a
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Shifting away from traditional approaches orientated towards the analysis of the benefits associated with brokerage, this paper provides valuable insights into the dynamics of this network position and the opportunities to innovate that it provides. Using fine grain micro data collected in a foodstuff Spanish cluster, the evolution of different brokerage profiles is analyzed in depth. It was particularly evident how firm-level characteristics (status, former mediating experience and external openness) and their interactions may generate changes in the different brokerage roles over a period of time. The findings of this work partially validate expectations based on the network dynamics approaches. Status and previous mediating experience facilitate the creation of partnerships, fostering brokerage. Conversely, interaction effects demote brokerage activity at the intra-cluster level, suggesting the selective nature of brokers’ relational behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Reputation, Game Theory and Entrepreneurial Sustainability
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1196; doi:10.3390/su8111196
Received: 7 October 2016 / Revised: 12 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published: 19 November 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (597 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Abstract: This manuscript provides a novel approach to reputational management as a driver of entrepreneurial sustainability, using game theory to integrate three dimensions of reputation. First, if the entrepreneur perceives reputation as a risk source, the analysis is framed as a prisoner’s dilemma
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Abstract: This manuscript provides a novel approach to reputational management as a driver of entrepreneurial sustainability, using game theory to integrate three dimensions of reputation. First, if the entrepreneur perceives reputation as a risk source, the analysis is framed as a prisoner’s dilemma schema that is solved by protecting against reputational threats from entrepreneurial sustainability. Second, if the entrepreneur perceives reputation as a competitive advantage, the analysis is framed as an innovator’s dilemma that is solved by getting reputational opportunities from entrepreneurial sustainability. Third, if reputation is perceived as a strategic asset, the analysis is framed as a coordination game schema that results in the development of a reputational intelligence skill that has the potential to become crucial for success in entrepreneurial sustainability. Consequently, this manuscript provides an original multidisciplinary analysis of reputational management by relating well-known theoretical results from game theory to organizational realities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessReview Exploring the Direction on the Environmental and Business Performance Relationship at the Firm Level. Lessons from a Literature Review
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1200; doi:10.3390/su8111200
Received: 4 October 2016 / Revised: 10 November 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 19 November 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (440 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The interest of scientists and companies in understanding the business implications of environmental investment is timely; however, a dilemma remains at the firm level: is the environment a “strategic competitive factor”, as in the “Porter point of view”, or is it a “luxury
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The interest of scientists and companies in understanding the business implications of environmental investment is timely; however, a dilemma remains at the firm level: is the environment a “strategic competitive factor”, as in the “Porter point of view”, or is it a “luxury good”, as in the “Wagner point of view”? Our research contributes to this debate through a review of the papers published in scientific journals between 2000 and 2015 that discussed the direction of the relationship between the environmental and business performances of enterprises. The objectives of the research are: (a) to verify if there is an agreement in the scientific literature of the last 15 years about the “Porter–Wagner dilemma” when focusing at the firm level; (b) to underline the prevalent cause and effect directions of the relationship between environmental and business performance; and (c) to investigate the reasons for any disagreements in this topic among the scientists. The results show that the main agreement regards the positive bi-directional relationship, as a virtuous cyclic approach with mutual effects between business and environmental performance; nevertheless, more complex hypotheses emerge, such as nonlinear and/or conditional relationship, that need to be further explored. On the other hand, the Porter–Wagner dilemma remains, and the main reason for the non-agreement among scientists can be due to the several non-homogeneous variables considered in the analyses. Thereafter, as lesson for scientists, the priority is to share univocal methods to measure firms’ environmental and business performances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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