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Cultural antecedents of sustainability and regional economic development - a study of SME ‘Mittelstand’ firms in Baden-Württemberg (Germany)

Kraus, P., Stokes, P., Cooper, C., Liu, Y., Moore, N., Britzelmaier, B. and Tarba, S. (2020) Cultural antecedents of sustainability and regional economic development - a study of SME ‘Mittelstand’ firms in Baden-Württemberg (Germany). Entrepreneurship & Regional Development. ISSN 0898-5626

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/08985626.2020.1713223

Abstract/Summary

This paper examines behavioural and regional/geographic cultural antecedents of sustainability in SME contexts. The study identifies prevailing macro-representations of sustainability in the literature and highlights an over-focus on large firms constituting the predominant unit of analysis. Moreover, there is a propensity in the literature to view sustainability primarily in terms of ‘environmental’ – closely linked to a corporate strategic imperative narrative of economic competitiveness and profitability. Overall, this perspective tends to generate accounts which are acultural, apolitical and ahistorical in terms of innovative actions and sustainability practices. In response, using a conceptual framework of moral identity, the paper develops a more micro-foundational insight to sustainability (developing notions of ‘tangible’ and ‘intangible’) and examines regional economic development attitudes at individual owner-manager/managing director level in small-to-medium-sized firms.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Henley Business School > Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
ID Code:89538
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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