Quotation Leonhardt, Heidrun, Juschten, Maria, Spash, Clive L. 2017. To Grow or Not to Grow? That Is the Question - Lessons for Social Ecological Transformation from Small-Medium Enterprises. GAIA - Ecological Perspectives for Science and Society 26 (3), 269 -276.


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Abstract

While research on alternatives to growth at the level of the economy as a whole is accumulating, few studies have related the criticism of growth to the business level. This paper starts to address this gap by investigating mechanisms of growth for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), presenting a case study that applies Q methodology and interviews with ownermanagers of both growing and non-growing SMEs in Austria. General mechanisms stimulating growth are identified (e. g., contributing to innovativeness and motivation of employees) and differentiated from those only of relevance for some SMEs: competition, financial stability, and a desire for market power. The owner-managers of non-growing SMEs hold values and pursue goals that free them from mechanisms of growth or prevent them from being triggered. Moreover, they exhibit a strong identification with their SME, operate in niche markets and strive for financial independence. This illustrates that a growth imperative is neither inevitable nor are growth mechanisms always operative, but depend upon structures and institutions.

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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal GAIA - Ecological Perspectives for Science and Society
Citation Index SSCI
WU-Journal-Rating new STRAT-D
Language English
Title To Grow or Not to Grow? That Is the Question - Lessons for Social Ecological Transformation from Small-Medium Enterprises
Volume 26
Number 3
Year 2017
Page from 269
Page to 276
Reviewed? Y
URL http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/oekom/gaia
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.14512/gaia.26.3.11

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Leonhardt, Heidrun (Former researcher)
Juschten, Maria (Former researcher)
Spash, Clive L. (Details)
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