Evidence of sustainable value creation and integrated thinking in Finnish medium sized enterprises
1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Management and International Business, Management
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, )|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:oulu-201706062551
|Publish Date:|| 2017-06-06
|Thesis type:||Master's thesis
The consequences of severe environmental and social challenges such as climate change, resource scarcity and exponential population growth are already met by millions of people globally on a regular basis. The growing awareness and demand for actions on these risks have resulted in an emerging consensus towards a stronger engagement of private organizations in mitigating negative externalities and providing solutions through fostering sustainable business operations. To better understand the role of private organizations in addressing sustainability issues, this research explores the phenomenon of sustainable value creation and integrated thinking in Finnish medium sized enterprises. These concepts are established on the consideration of factors such as integration of sustainability into business model, long term orientation in business as well as use of multiple capitals in decision making and company operations. The data is collected through a survey for company executives as well as theme interviews for company executives and private equity firm representatives. By using data triangulation, the research aims for a more comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon formed through the company executive perceptions of sustainability practices within their own organization as well as the investor perceptions of sustainability as a factor potentially affecting the firm value and attractiveness as an investment. The results indicate the existence of the selected phenomenon on some level by providing evidence of for instance integrated business models, emphasis on long term approach as well as the ability to identify opportunities rising from sustainability in business, such as competitive advantage, long term cost savings and enhanced level of trust expressed by stakeholders. In addition, the investor perceptions indicate that sustainability increases the attractiveness of an investment through long term viability and new business opportunities once the business also has a solid potential for profit generation. The research participants also recognize sustainability in business as a growing trend. In today’s world, leaving sustainability out of considerations may expose an organization to a variety of risks and hence the research encourages the management to carefully consider the business potential arising from profound engagement to sustainability.
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