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A sustainable business model in services: an assessment and validation

Nils M. Høgevold (Department of Marketing, Oslo School of Management, Oslo, Norway)
Goran Svensson (Department of Marketing, Oslo School of Management, Oslo, Norway)
Carmen Padin (Department of Applied Economics, University of Vigo, Vigo, Spain)

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences

ISSN: 1756-669X

Article publication date: 16 March 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore and describe a sustainable business model in a service industry.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study was performed during 2012-2013. It is based upon a major Scandinavian hotel chain known for having implemented documented, extensive and systematic sustainable business practices within the company and in its business network. Data were gathered from multiple sources to explore and describe their sustainable business model.

Findings

This study provides a validation in a service industry of an assessed sustainable business model derived from a goods industry and from other industries as well. The empirical findings indicate that the model appears to be universally applicable across sources and stakeholders in the service sector beyond company- and industry-specific characteristics in services.

Research limitations/implications

Further research that may validate or falsify current empirical findings in other business settings is presented. Suggestions for further research are provided, such as a focus on similarities and differences across companies, industries and countries worldwide.

Practical implications

Environmental initiatives and efforts need to go hand-in-hand with the social and economic ones. The interconnection between environmental, social and economic elements is necessary and crucial if it is to be successful in the marketplace and society.

Social implications

A sustainable business model is not about simplistic initiatives and efforts of sustainable business practices. A multitude of initiatives and efforts are required in the marketplace and society.

Originality/value

It contributes to visualize an all-embracing perspective on the challenges, complexities and dynamics of implementing sustainable business practices within and beyond corporate or organizational boundaries toward business networks in the marketplace and society.

Keywords

Citation

Høgevold, N.M., Svensson, G. and Padin, C. (2015), "A sustainable business model in services: an assessment and validation", International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 17-33. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJQSS-09-2013-0037

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited