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Open AccessArticle

In Search of Sustainable Value: A Structured Literature Review

Department of Economics, University of Perugia, Via Alessandro Pascoli, 20, 06123 Perugia, Italy
South Kensington Campus, Imperial College London, 457 ACE Extension, London SW7 2AZ, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 615;
Received: 11 December 2019 / Revised: 5 January 2020 / Accepted: 10 January 2020 / Published: 14 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Value Management–New Concepts and Contemporary Trends)
The concept of value, where shareholders are the main recipients of the created value, is changing towards more comprehensive models, which respond to the increased stakeholder awareness and urgent sustainability agenda. Hart and Milstein (2003) elaborated the widely used sustainable value concept in which they characterize temporal and spatial dimensions of value, and suggest strategic drivers for sustainability. Although the framework is highly cited, there is no review on the changes over more than ten years. In this paper, we adopted a structured literature review methodology to discover how the concept of sustainable value has been used by researchers and how it has been developed. Our findings show that sustainable value has mainly been used as the general phrase to describe positive business results instead of using it as a concept. Scholars, who make an in-depth analysis of sustainable value do not emphasize the time horizon of sustainable value as its peculiar characteristic while broad stakeholder surrounding is called to be an important feature of sustainable value. Additionally, strategic drivers for sustainability have moved from being purely environmental as in Hart and Milstein’s (2003) concept: globalization, economic fluctuations, and knowledge innovation have become as important as green technologies and carbon-reduction policies.
Keywords: sustainable value; sustainability; environment; CSR; stakeholders; structured literature review sustainable value; sustainability; environment; CSR; stakeholders; structured literature review
MDPI and ACS Style

Cardoni, A.; Kiseleva, E.; Taticchi, P. In Search of Sustainable Value: A Structured Literature Review. Sustainability 2020, 12, 615.

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