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Commitment to Sustainability: How Internal Stakeholders become Committed to Sustainability in an SME
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background - Sustainability is getting an increasingly important role in today’s business world, due to severe degradation of the environment and the stakeholder pressure that follows. Thus, businesses need to take responsibility for their actions and contribute to sustainable development. Successful implementation of sustainability is dependent on the people within organizations. Hence, internal stakeholders in terms of employees, leaders and owners, must be committed to work with sustainability. Currently, SMEs are integrating sustainability to a lower extent than their larger counterparts, which is alarming since the majority of businesses are SMEs.

Purpose - The purpose of this thesis is to explore how commitment to sustainability arises among the internal stakeholders in an SME.

Method - A qualitative research design was used, in which a case study with a Swedish manufacturing SME was conducted. Empirical data was collected mainly through interviews with internal stakeholders.

Findings - It was found that internal stakeholders’ commitment to sustainability was partly driven by three factors in the organizational context; value alignment, leadership and empowerment. Aligned personal and organizational values led to that internal stakeholders accepted and believed in sustainability, which resulted in affective commitment. Leaders influenced internal stakeholders’ affective commitment by demonstrating their own commitment to sustainability. It was found that lack of empowerment resulted in low awareness about sustainability, which showed to have implications for the affective commitment in the SME’s production department. Moreover, external stakeholder pressure drove normative commitment among internal stakeholders, which in turn gave rise to affective commitment, which was spread to other internal stakeholders. The compound commitment to sustainability resulted in value creation for both internal and external stakeholders.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 69 p.
Keyword [en]
commitment, sustainability, SMEs, stakeholders
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-27547ISRN: JU-IHH-FÖA-2-20150142OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-27547DiVA: diva2:839588
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
Presentation
2015-07-03, Gjuterigatan 5, 553 18 Jönköping, Jönköping, 11:13 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2015-07-03 Created: 2015-07-03 Last updated: 2015-07-03Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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  • asciidoc
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