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Harmonious entrepreneurship: evolution from wealth creation to sustainable development

David Anthony Kirby (International Institute for Creative Entrepreneurial Development, University of Wales, Trinity Saint David – Swansea Campus, Swansea, UK)
Iman El-Kaffass (Private International Consultant, Organisational Strategic Development and Capacity Strengthening, Montreal, Canada)
Felicity Healey-Benson (International Institute for Creative Entrepreneurial Development, University of Wales, Trinity Saint David – Swansea Campus, Swansea, UK)

Journal of Management History

ISSN: 1751-1348

Article publication date: 7 June 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to examine the evolution of entrepreneurship, explain the reasons for why it is not contributing significantly to the global sustainability challenge and propose a new approach and business model to better enable it to do so.

Design/methodology/approach

The research adopts a grounded theory–style approach based on case study production and analysis using secondary data and, where appropriate, personal observation.

Findings

The paper concludes that entrepreneurship has failed to address the sustainability challenge because of its emphasis on “making as much money as possible” and its failure to appreciate that the planet is a system. It concludes that for any solution to be successful it must be based on systems thinking and should integrate or harmonise the traditional, separately applied approaches to entrepreneurship in order to produce a business model with a Triple Bottom Line, whereby Profit, Planet and People are in Harmony.

Research limitations/implications

While the proposed model is based on a real-life case, it needs to be tested in different politico-economic contexts and industry sectors. It has the potential, though, to impact very considerably the traditional thinking on entrepreneurship and its application.

Practical implications

The proposed new approach will have significant implications for entrepreneurship education and training, including the adoption of a stakeholder rather than shareholder approach to management.

Social implications

Sustainability is arguably the most urgent and critical problem facing contemporary society. The proposed model provides a potential solution to that problem, particularly at the local community level.

Originality/value

The research proposes a new approach to entrepreneurship that breaks with the Friedman (1970) mantra that the purpose of business is to “make as much money as possible”.

Keywords

Citation

Kirby, D.A., El-Kaffass, I. and Healey-Benson, F. (2022), "Harmonious entrepreneurship: evolution from wealth creation to sustainable development", Journal of Management History, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMH-11-2021-0060

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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