Sustainable business models: corporate reasons, economic effects, social boundaries, environmental actions and organizational challenges in sustainable business practices
Høgevold, Nils M.
Petzer, Daniel J.
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe: corporate reasons for, and organizational challenges of sustainable business models; and the evolution of economic effects, social boundaries and environmental actions in sustainable business practices. Design/methodology/approach – This study is based on insights gained from eight Norwegian companies in different industries. Purposeful sampling was employed to ensure that the companies had sustainable business models beyond the level of mere compliance, of sustainable business practices in the marketplace and society. A deductive approach to data collection ensured that the companies had sufficient understanding to relate their sustainable business practices to interviewers. The interviews were subsequently transcribed and analyzed systematically by the research team. Findings – The empirical findings indicate evolutionary changes as companies move on a continuum from superficial to embedded sustainable business models and the application of sustainable business practices. The planning, implementation and evaluation of sustainable business models evolves over time within companies and their supply chains, as well as in the marketplace and society. Research limitations/implications – A limitation of this study is that it is exclusively undertaken in Norwegian companies, although the companies are from different industries with different characteristics. Future research is clearly necessary and will be conducted in other countries in similar The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/1746-5265.htm Received 24 September 2013 Revised 28 January 2014 19 March 2014 Accepted 20 March 2014 Baltic Journal of Management Vol. 9 No. 3, 2014 pp. 357-380 r Emerald Group Publishing Limited 1746-5265 DOI 10.1108/BJM-09-2013-0147 357 Sustainable business models Downloaded by North-West University At 06:11 29 October 2015 (PT) industries, so as to explore the empirical findings from this study in other contexts. In addition, the interfaces between environmental actions, economic effects and social boundaries need to be investigated further. Originality/value – The study contributes to a growing body of knowledge on corporate reasons for and organizational challenges of sustainable business models, as well as environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainable business practices. Keywords Corporate social responsibility (CSR), Triple bottom line, Norway, Sustainable practices, Sustainable business Paper type Case study