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A dynamic business modelling approach to design and experiment new business venture strategies

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Publication date: Available online 6 July 2017
Source:Long Range Planning

Author(s): Federico Cosenz, Guido Noto

Business Modelling has evolved as a key activity to reflect new business venture strategy by framing the way a firm will operate and how it will function in achieving its goals (e.g., profitability, growth, innovation, social impact). However, scholars and practitioners have criticized the adoption of a too static perspective in the design and use of conventional Business Model representations. Such a static perspective prevents nascent entrepreneurs experimenting with their Business Models and, as a result, identifying the most effective strategies, especially in terms of business sustainability and profitability. In this paper, we argue that combining conventional Business Model schemas with System Dynamics modelling results in a strategy design tool that may overcome several limitations related to a static view of Business Model representation. Mapping the different key elements underlying value creation processes into a system of causal interdependencies – through the use of simulation – allows strategy analysts and entrepreneurs to experiment and learn how the business reacts to strategic and organizational changes in terms of performance, innovation and value creation. As such, Dynamic Business Models provide useful insights to strategy formulation and business venturing by capturing how critical Business Model elements interact to produce enduring competitive advantages over time.

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A pathway towards true sustainability: A recognition foundation of sustainable supply chain management

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Publication date: Available online 27 June 2017
Source:European Management Journal

Author(s): Stefan Gold, Martin C. Schleper

Sustainable supply chain management has developed at an exponential rate into a distinct research field, but its progress towards sustainability is rather modest, and a coherent theoretical foundation for guiding companies towards a stronger integration of sustainability into their operations and supply chains is still missing. This article outlines how the tradition of critical management studies could foster higher levels of sustainable business and sustainable supply chains. We argue that the underlying instrumental logic of contemporary corporate engagement with sustainability, driven by stakeholder pressures, is a key obstacle when aiming for ‘truly’ sustainable supply chains. Referring to a recognition perspective may dissolve the reified pursuit of profit-seeking and other merely economic performance targets to recall the genuine—and in its essence truly radical—claim that the concept of sustainable development is inherently a normative one imposed on all of us. Recognition may lead the way for companies to adopt a caring stance for people and the surrounding environment and to respond to the legitimate expectations of all groups in society while conceiving themselves as an integral part of such a society. We conclude by discussing how far the theoretical perspective of recognition is enrooted in the European tradition of institutionalised business–society relationships and therefore could be seen as a rediscovery of a genuinely European way of making business and managing supply chains.

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Essential Micro-foundations for Contemporary Business Operations: Top Management Tangible Competencies, Relationship-based Business Networks and Environmental Sustainability

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Although various studies have emphasized linkages between firm competencies, networks and sustainability at organizational level, the links between top management tangible competencies (TMTCs) (e.g. contemporary relevant quantitative-focused education such as big data analytics and data-driven applications linked with the internet of things, relevant experience and analytical business applications), relationship-based business networks (RBNs) and environmental sustainability have not been well established at micro-level, and there is a literature gap in terms of investigating these relationships. This study examines these links based on the unique data collected from 175 top management representatives (chief executive officers and managing directors) working in food import and export firms headquartered in the UK and New Zealand. Our results from structural equation modelling indicate that TMTCs are the key determinants for building RBNs, mediating the correlation between TMTCs and environmental sustainability. Directly, the competencies also play a vital role towards environmental practices. The findings further depict that relationship-oriented firms perform better compared to those which focus less on such networks. Consequently, our findings provide a deeper understanding of the micro-foundations of environmental sustainability based on TMTCs rooted in the resource-based view and RBNs entrenched in social network theory. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our findings, and we provide suggestions for future research.

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Small business challenges and the triple bottom line, TBL: Needs assessment in a Midwest State, U.S.A.

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Publication date: Available online 9 June 2017
Source:Technological Forecasting and Social Change

Author(s): Diane Depken, Catherine Zeman

Few resources or published studies exist identifying the informational needs or motivational factors that would assist small businesses wishing to develop, follow, or institute a business model using sustainable and triple bottom line, TBL practices in the U.S. Further, little was known in this mid-western State about the depth of green business practices or the desire of business owners to learn more. A cross-sectional, convenience sample was surveyed to define the needs and interest of the small business enterprises. Only 10 (n =31) percent of the 319 companies contacted completed the short survey. However, for that 10%, a strong interest in gaining knowledge in this area was expressed. Findings indicated that many smaller businesses may not have the efficacy base of knowledge, skills, and resources whereby they can operationalize sustainable or green business practices. Coding the responses in the areas of green business motivation, learning, and hoped for benefits according to the TBL of community, profit, and environment illustrated that profit was a motivator overall 2:1 compared to environment and community. For the small business community, much of the literature, technical expertise and sustainability assessment models remain beyond their resources and time reach. The challenge becomes one of finding ways to broaden the appeal of sustainability and TBL practices and establish a means of peer to peer sharing and benchmarking efficacy and progress in sustainable business practices.

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