Adoption of eco-advantage by SMEs: emerging opportunities and constraints

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10545/621300
Title:
Adoption of eco-advantage by SMEs: emerging opportunities and constraints
Authors:
Oxborrow, Lynn; Brindley, Clare
Abstract:
Purpose: Esty and Winston (2006) assert that businesses need to adopt 'eco-advantage'. This paper aims to explore the viability of SMEs achieving 'eco-advantage' by considering their understanding of sustainability issues, how they adopt and innovate in terms of sustainability and the benefits and obstacles they face. Methodology: The research approach is exploratory, comprised of 15 SME embedded cases based in the UK. The cases are participants in short interventions in sustainable product and process design as a part of a university knowledge transfer project, representing the overall case. Cases are based on interviews with company participants and collaborating academics, supplemented by documentary and observational evidence. Findings: The results build on the work on 'eco-advantage' (Esty and Winston, 2006), highlighting marketing, rather than compliance issues as a catalyst for change. The newly aware SME enters a development process which involves cumulative capabilities, gaining a nascent inner confidence, which includes espousing wider sustainable values and attempts at influencing internal and upstream practices in four dominant ways: use of alternative materials, enhancing recyclability (Sharma et al, 2010), local sourcing, and product to service shift (Maxwell and van der Vorst 2003), though few fully embrace strategic ecological and economic advantage. Obstacles include ephemerality of benefits (Shearlock et al, 2000) and practicalities of implementing internal and supply chain innovations.
Affiliation:
Nottingham Trent University
Citation:
OXBORROW, L. and BRINDLEY, C., (2013) Adoption of eco-advantage by SMEs: emerging opportunities and constraints., European Journal of Innovation Management. European Journal of Innovation Management, 16 (3), pp. 355-375.
Publisher:
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Journal:
European Journal of Innovation Management
Issue Date:
2013
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10545/621300
DOI:
10.1108/EJIM-09-2011-0079
Additional Links:
http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/EJIM-09-2011-0079
Type:
Article
Language:
en
ISSN:
14601060
Appears in Collections:
Research, Innovation and Academic Enterprise

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorOxborrow, Lynnen
dc.contributor.authorBrindley, Clareen
dc.date.accessioned2017-01-31T16:55:17Z-
dc.date.available2017-01-31T16:55:17Z-
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.identifier.citationOXBORROW, L. and BRINDLEY, C., (2013) Adoption of eco-advantage by SMEs: emerging opportunities and constraints., European Journal of Innovation Management. European Journal of Innovation Management, 16 (3), pp. 355-375.en
dc.identifier.issn14601060-
dc.identifier.doi10.1108/EJIM-09-2011-0079-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10545/621300-
dc.description.abstractPurpose: Esty and Winston (2006) assert that businesses need to adopt 'eco-advantage'. This paper aims to explore the viability of SMEs achieving 'eco-advantage' by considering their understanding of sustainability issues, how they adopt and innovate in terms of sustainability and the benefits and obstacles they face. Methodology: The research approach is exploratory, comprised of 15 SME embedded cases based in the UK. The cases are participants in short interventions in sustainable product and process design as a part of a university knowledge transfer project, representing the overall case. Cases are based on interviews with company participants and collaborating academics, supplemented by documentary and observational evidence. Findings: The results build on the work on 'eco-advantage' (Esty and Winston, 2006), highlighting marketing, rather than compliance issues as a catalyst for change. The newly aware SME enters a development process which involves cumulative capabilities, gaining a nascent inner confidence, which includes espousing wider sustainable values and attempts at influencing internal and upstream practices in four dominant ways: use of alternative materials, enhancing recyclability (Sharma et al, 2010), local sourcing, and product to service shift (Maxwell and van der Vorst 2003), though few fully embrace strategic ecological and economic advantage. Obstacles include ephemerality of benefits (Shearlock et al, 2000) and practicalities of implementing internal and supply chain innovations.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherEmerald Group Publishing Limiteden
dc.relation.urlhttp://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/EJIM-09-2011-0079en
dc.subjectSmall to medium?sized enterprisesen
dc.subjectInnovationen
dc.subjectSustainable product and processen
dc.subjectSustainable designen
dc.subjectGreen marketingen
dc.titleAdoption of eco-advantage by SMEs: emerging opportunities and constraintsen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentNottingham Trent Universityen
dc.identifier.journalEuropean Journal of Innovation Managementen
dc.right.copyright� Emerald Group Publishing Limited 2013en
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