Topic: Business sustainability in global corporate environments- a study of current practices and forecast trends for the solo entrepreneur.

Introduction

In this competitive market, sustainability entrepreneurship helps in resolving environmental and social problems in various organisations. It is the responsibility of a sole entrepreneur to ensure that proper sustainability practices are implemented so that the operations of an organisation align with the regulatory frameworks. The study gives an overview of the market trends and current practices of a sole entrepreneur in implementing sustainability practices.

Aims and objectives

This study will aim at analysing business sustainability in the global corporate environment and market trends and current practices of a solo entrepreneur. This will help in identifying the problems and challenges of sustainability in corporate organisations.

Objectives

  • To understand the concept of sustainability entrepreneurship in business organisations
  • To analyse the current practices and future trends for the solo entrepreneur
  • To evaluate the impacts of sustainability practices in global corporate environments
  • To suggest recommendations for overcoming the challenges of sustainability

Rationale

The concept of “green entrepreneurship” is still in the infancy stage, implying that the sole entrepreneurs are still exploiting aspects of sustainability practices in this global corporate environment. The paradox of “green entrepreneurship” is still not exploited by green entrepreneurs. Additional costs are to be incurred by the green entrepreneurs. It is difficult for the sole entrepreneurs to negotiate multi-level tensions between performing entrepreneurial activities and green sustainability (Demirel et al. 2019). The emergence of “United Nations Sustainable Development Goals” has prompted another challenge for the sole entrepreneurs since they are required to implement sustainability practices that incur huge costs and require skilled expertise that the businesses may not inculcate. Moreover, emerging problems like climate changes and depletion of resources can hinder the performance of business organisations (TRENDS, 2017). This implies that the current practices are more oriented in sustainability practices and these practices set the trends of future operations.

Literature review

Sustainability entrepreneurship

This entrepreneurship is concerned with the environmental and social problems where the business models are developed for improving their sustainability practices. In this context, the economic and social aspects are considered very important as it helps in establishing a relationship between the profits and sustainability practices. This has generated innovative business modes and a sustainable approach towards the economy termed as the “Green economy” (Gast et al. 2017),

Theories and models of sustainability

Patzelt and Shephard’s model of sustainability

This model states the importance of sustainable entrepreneurship which states that motivation and knowledge help in fostering entrepreneurship for yielding personal benefits and providing altruistic benefits to others. For the solo entrepreneurs, it is required to have prior knowledge of the market trends, its style of working, customers and the issues of organisational dynamics. Therefore, sustainability and entrepreneurship aim to utilise nature and human resources for improving service quality (Muñoz et al. 2018). The process helps in providing personal satisfaction that can encourage actions for accomplishing the particular goals. Economic profits along with the aspects of ethics, compassion, empathy and altruism are an important part of sustainability entrepreneurship.

Green economics theory

This theory states harmonious interactions between nature and humans where both needs can be met effectively. It helps in encompassing a varied range of ideas so that the interconnected relationship between the environment and people can be established. In this competitive market, entrepreneurship is the part of the economy that can help in contributing to economic development. This requires ICT to help in bringing structural changes that can help in the reallocation of resources for ensuring sustainable entrepreneurship. According to Zahedi and Otterpohl (2015), as per UNDP, this entrepreneurship can be sustainable only when the natural resources are restored and provide the greatest benefits to others. The sole entrepreneurs help in maintaining ecological procedures so that the rate of resources can be replenished by using renewable energy and alternate fuels.

Stakeholder theory

This theory states that sustainability practices should be oriented in considering the needs and wants of external and internal stakeholders. This implies that sustainability practices should consider the obligations of meeting stakeholder demands. For instance, the use of electric vehicles can help in reducing environmental pollution and minimising transportation costs. this can help in meeting the requirements of the society and the governments apart from reducing the unnecessary costs of the operations. It also implies that a sole entrepreneur should consider its direct stakeholders like the suppliers since improved sustainability practices can help in improving supplier relationships (Jones et al. 2018). This can also help in improving stakeholder relationships so that they can get the required funds for improving their operations. Thus, a sole entrepreneur is required to consider the needs of stakeholders before devising sustainable strategies.

Factors for entrepreneurship and sustainability in corporate entrepreneurship

Business and environmental factors

The sustainability perspectives of an organisation include three aspects that are economic prosperity, social sustainability, and environmental integrity. Environmental integrity is referred to as the protection of the environment by reducing wastes and pollution in the environment. Economic prosperity is referred to as the financial strengths and the differentiation existence through the pathways of product, promotion, price and place. Social sustainability refers to the processes that can help in ensuring the well-being and social health of the employees in an organisation. Entrepreneurship without this concept of sustainability is a complicated concept (Youssef et al. 2018). This form of entrepreneurship is related to the creation of new economic opportunities that can help in business creation and the formation of new models for augmenting sustainable practices.

Human resource and behavioural factors

The human resources and behavioural factors affect the sustainable entrepreneurship that can be grouped into three aspects like emotional factors, ethics and values, motivational and cognitive factors. The social cognitive theory states that active contributors and agents can help in developing sustainability entrepreneurship as per the situations. The sole entrepreneurs are required to have self-beliefs where they can motivated for regulating human behaviours so that corporate sustainability can be implemented in the organisation.  Entrepreneurial personnel is required to have entrepreneurial motivations that can be related to sustainable practices (Tur-Porcar et al. 2018). The belief in this sustainability is linked with the ethics and values for undertaking sustainable actions.

Effects of sustainability on corporate entrepreneurship

Sustainability entrepreneurs have gained increased importance in addressing the current environmental and social practices. These environmentally and socially conscious individuals for fulfilling the role of society that can offer solutions for resolving complicated societal problems. Shafique and Kalyar (2018) stated that these problems are generally unsuccessfully addressed, ignored or overlooked by the governments, civil society institutions or incumbent businesses. However, this understanding of sustainable entrepreneurship is lacking. For example, it is not understood the ways sustainable entrepreneurs can establish their operations while experiencing difficulties in setting up the start-up process. Mahmood and Arslan (2020) argued that the sole entrepreneurs face numerous challenges for establishing their businesses due to the creation of social and private value. Entrepreneurs face various types of risks since they are risk takers so they devise innovative solutions for bringing sustainability practices. It is noted that innovation is more oriented for solo entrepreneurs since the new technologies help in minimising their costs and streamlining their operations. The differences in risks and perceived barriers are related to this sustainable entrepreneurship where the solo entrepreneurs experience different kinds of risks in implementing sustainable practices (Lee et al. 2019). However, sustainability practices for solo entrepreneurs can help in getting an improved reputation and doing sustainable operations.

Challenges of sustainability entrepreneurship

Ethical behaviour and entrepreneurship are related to the decision-making for the entrepreneurs are required to make decisions concerning the environmental and social factors. The entrepreneurs face the problems of ethical dilemmas while running their ventures and addressing ethical issues while commencing ventures. Generally, the sole entrepreneurs are driven by political gains and a string interest in meeting their self-interest. Though the entrepreneurs in the corporate world are obliged by the social and environmental factors, they face difficulty in implementing sustainability practices due to increased costs. This is because that the entrepreneurs generally have a small budget and time constraints and they are not willing to devote their money to sustainability practices (Rahdari et al. 2016). They feel that these practices can have adverse effects on their profits on their operations. However, the corporate practices of the company require sustainability standards to be reported in their annual reports or produce sustainability reports. Sometimes, these reports do not contain relevant information regarding corporate practices.

Literature Gap

The study is going to explore the gap in understanding this corporate sustainability by analysing the current practices which are not found in other researches, Previous researches have not explored the current practices and forecasting of trends regarding sustainable entrepreneurship in global corporate environments. This study aims to bridge the gap of regular entrepreneurs with sustainable entrepreneurs in corporate businesses. The theories give an insight into the importance of sustainability practices in corporate governance so that these practices can help in ensuring sustainable operations. The previous studies have not explored the risks and the barriers that solo entrepreneurs face while implementing sustainability practices unlike the other owners and the managers. It helps in understanding the current trends and future potentialities of sustainability practices for solo entrepreneurs so that they can devise improved strategies for improving their operations.

Research methodology

This research will follow a mixed method by implementing both primary and secondary research methods. The primary research method will help in gathering raw and data through surveys and interviews. This research will also follow secondary research methods for gathering data and information from secondary sources like journals, books, articles and reports (Mohajan, 2018). In this context, the researcher will use positivism philosophy for gathering information and data through reason or logic. This will help in understanding the market patterns of the sustainability practices in the corporate organisations for sole entrepreneurs. The deductive approach will help in deducing the implications of sustainability practices in this global corporate environment. This approach will help in understanding the relationship between variables like sustainability practices and their effect on corporate practices. The descriptive design will be used for getting the required information after observing the phenomena. This will help in understanding the current practices and future forecasts of sustainability in this global corporate environment.

The primary research method will be implemented by conducting the interview via telephone. This interview will be conducted with the entrepreneurs of the UK for understanding the implications of the sustainability practices in this corporate business. Apart from this, the secondary method will also be implemented for analysing the current practices and future implications of sustainability practices. As influenced by Zangirolami-Raimundo et al. (2018), the qualitative techniques will be followed for evaluating the problems and solutions of the sustainability practices in this corporate environment.  In this context, purposive sampling will be used in which the researcher will be using his judgement for choosing the sample. For the secondary method, inclusion and exclusion criteria will be followed so that the journals older than 5 years will be excluded. The peer-reviewed articles, reports and scholarly articles will be used for gathering necessary data and information. The information from the primary method will be analysed through graphs and charts and for the secondary method, thematic analysis will be performed. Besides this, the researcher will also follow the ethical guidelines for adhering to the University of Ethics.

Expected outcomes

The study will help in understanding the current practices of solo entrepreneurs in developing sustainability practices and their future implications. It can help the owners and the managers to understand the sustainability practices that can help in long-term operations. This study will help in evaluating the sustainability trends of the corporate organisations that can help solo entrepreneurs for improving their operations. It will help in understanding the external factors that can help in devising proper sustainability practices. It will help in understanding the changes in the sustainability practices in the corporate environment so that sustainable entrepreneurship can be established easily. This research will help in analysing the importance of sustainability practices in this corporate world and the ways it can benefit the entrepreneurs to drive their innovative solutions.

References

Demirel, P., Li, Q.C., Rentocchini, F. and Tamvada, J.P., 2019. Born to be green: new insights into the economics and management of green entrepreneurship. Small Business Economics52(4), pp.759-771.

Gast, J., Gundolf, K. and Cesinger, B., 2017. Doing business in a green way: A systematic review of the ecological sustainability entrepreneurship literature and future research directions. Journal of Cleaner Production147, pp.44-56.

Jones, T.M., Harrison, J.S. and Felps, W., 2018. How applying instrumental stakeholder theory can provide sustainable competitive advantage. Academy of Management Review43(3), pp.371-391.

Lee, K., Makri, M. and Scandura, T., 2019. The effect of psychological ownership on corporate entrepreneurship: Comparisons between family and nonfamily top management team members. Family Business Review32(1), pp.10-30.

Mahmood, A. and Arslan, A., 2020. Ahead of the Curve: Leveraging Antecedents of Corporate Entrepreneurship to Pull Off Competitive Advantage. Frontiers in psychology11, p.2841.

Mohajan, H.K., 2018. Qualitative research methodology in social sciences and related subjects. Journal of Economic Development, Environment and People7(1), pp.23-48.

Muñoz, P., Janssen, F., Nicolopoulou, K. and Hockerts, K., 2018. Advancing sustainable entrepreneurship through substantive research. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research.

Rahdari, A., Sepasi, S. and Moradi, M., 2016. Achieving sustainability through Schumpeterian social entrepreneurship: The role of social enterprises. Journal of Cleaner Production137, pp.347-360.

Shafique, I. and Kalyar, M.N., 2018. Linking transformational leadership, absorptive capacity, and corporate entrepreneurship. Administrative Sciences8(2), p.9.

TRENDS, G., 2017. Challenges and Opportunities in the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Tur-Porcar, A., Roig-Tierno, N. and Llorca Mestre, A., 2018. Factors affecting entrepreneurship and business sustainability. Sustainability10(2), p.452.

Youssef, A.B., Boubaker, S. and Omri, A., 2018. Entrepreneurship and sustainability: The need for innovative and institutional solutions. Technological Forecasting and Social Change129, pp.232-241.

Zahedi, A. and Otterpohl, R., 2015. Towards sustainable development by creation of green social entrepreneur’s communities. Procedia CIRP26, pp.196-201.

Zangirolami-Raimundo, J., Echeimberg, J.D.O. and Leone, C., 2018. Research methodology topics: Cross-sectional studies. Journal of Human Growth and Development28(3), pp.356-360.

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