The purpose of this paper is to analyse the drivers of sustainable entrepreneurial practices in SMEs operating in a developing economy. The secondary objectives are to…
The purpose of this paper is to analyse the drivers of sustainable entrepreneurial practices in SMEs operating in a developing economy. The secondary objectives are to explore the relationship between these drivers and to draw out the implications for policy and practice.
The paper is informed by the literature on sustainable entrepreneurship, and on the drivers of pro-environmental practices in SMEs. It reports on the results of an intensive multi-level empirical study, which investigates the environmental practices of SMEs in Pakistan’s leatherworking industry using a multiple case study design and grounded analysis, which draws on relevant institutional theory.
The study identifies that coercive, normative and mimetic isomorphic pressures simultaneously drive sustainable entrepreneurial activity in the majority of sample SMEs. These pressures are exerted by specific micro-, meso- and macro-level factors, ranging from international customers’ requirements to individual-level values of owners and managers. It also reveals the catalytic effect of the educational and awareness-raising activities of intermediary organisations, in tandem with the attraction of competitiveness gains, (international) environmental regulations, industrial dynamism and reputational factors.
The evidence suggests that, in countries where formal institutional mechanisms have less of an impact, intermediary organisations can perform a proto-institutional role that helps to overcome pre-existing barriers to environmental improvement by sparking sustainable entrepreneurial activity in SME populations.
The findings imply that the drivers of sustainable entrepreneurial activity do not operate in a “piecemeal” fashion, but that particular factors mediate the emergence and development of other sustainability drivers. This paper provides new insights into sustainable entrepreneurship and motivations for environmental practices in an under-researched developing economy context.
Around the world, people are confronted by a variety of complex and pervasive environmental, social and economic challenges. In many cases, including anthropogenic climate…
Around the world, people are confronted by a variety of complex and pervasive environmental, social and economic challenges. In many cases, including anthropogenic climate change, resource depletion, financial system disruption and poverty, there has been an increasing recognition that ‘wicked problems’ require entirely new ways of thinking, and that the solutions are unlikely to be found by governments, businesses or civil society actors operating in isolation. In parallel with these developments, many observers have commented on a growing interest in various forms of social entrepreneurship and in new models of enterprise that seek alternative ways of delivering products and services, while also securing the ‘triple bottom line’ of social, environmental and economic sustainability. This volume draws together a selection of contemporary entrepreneurship research studies that explore different aspects of this phenomenon. Our original call for papers was based around the themes addressed in one of ISBE's longstanding annual conference tracks. It attracted some strong submissions from within and beyond the ISBE research community. The editors reviewed papers relating to social and sustainable entrepreneurship, the environmental impacts of enterprise, and ethics and social responsibility in enterprise.
Sarah Underwood is the Director of Student Education for Enterprise and a Lecturer in Enterprise at the Leeds Enterprise Centre, University of Leeds, UK. Her research interests cover social enterprise and social innovation, with particular focus on the pedagogical development and inclusion of these topics in HEI curricula. Sarah has published several academic papers and was the founding Chair of the Institute for Small Business and Enterprise special interest group, the ‘Social and Sustainable Enterprise Network’ 2010–2012.
The field of entrepreneurship is continuously expanding, and new perspectives on existing theories continue to emerge, challenging established norms and generating exciting avenues of inquiry. The aim of the ISBE-Emerald Book Series is to facilitate such inquiry by providing a platform for leading edge research that reflects the themes of interest to contemporary entrepreneurship scholars. Each volume in the series is designed around a specific theme that is both relevant to the ISBE Conference and of importance to the entrepreneurship and small business community. While volumes will seek to explore and develop theory and practice in the field of entrepreneurship and small business, the emphasis of the research will be on quality, currency and relevance.