CUED Publications database

Transforming sustainability challenges into competitive advantage: Multiple case studies kaleidoscope converging into sustainable business models

Morioka, SN and Bolis, I and Evans, S and Carvalho, MM (2017) Transforming sustainability challenges into competitive advantage: Multiple case studies kaleidoscope converging into sustainable business models. Journal of Cleaner Production, 167. pp. 723-738. ISSN 0959-6526

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Abstract

Recent tendency has been pushing organizations to rethink their role in society and making organization reflect that profit may not be the only and foremost important business performance criteria. Thus recent literature has been exploring the sustainable business models (SBM's), as a way to insert sustainability goals into the core of business decisions. This research aims to advance in this body of knowledge and proposes a theory and practice-based framework to support organizations towards more SBM, making explicit main elements to align business to sustainability performance goals. To support the argument that there is no unique solution to design SBM, this research performs a multiple case studies in eleven organizations from diverse sectors, situated in Brazil and in the United Kingdom. Results show that SBM is not an attempt to deny business-as-usual perspective, but rather it seeks to complement this view, by adding a more axiological and systemic approach. In particular, three convergent aspects were identified in the case studies as relevant efforts support the integration of sustainability into SBM's value creation and delivery system: (1) the connection between business purpose and employees’ values and believes; (2) the pro-active and clear engagement in solving sustainability problems; and (3) the need for system-level changes to enable successful SBM's. This systemic thinking is highlighted by the concept emerged from the research, the cascaded sustainable value captured, representing that, as SBM's are part of a value network, value delivered by the organizations is captured not only by stakeholders to which they have direct contact, but rather this is also deployed to stakeholders of focal company's stakeholders. This distinction is not always trivial for companies, so the proposed concept can support advances in SBM discussions. Further studies are called to the challenge of making explicit that SBM's are not only companies that directly addresses a specific social and/or environmental problem, but rather is an emerging paradigm on how to manage efficient businesses in any sector to add positive value to the globe.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Divisions: Div E > Production Processes
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2017 01:41
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2021 05:59
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.08.118