From Little Things Big Things Grow: Exploring Small to Medium Enterprises' Continual and Collaborative Learning of Sustainable Management Practices

Heather Jane Stewart, University, My, Rod Gapp
Underpinned by theoretical concepts of collaboration, sustainable mangement practices (SMP), government and continual learning, this research investigated the contribution of continual learning of SMP in the small to medium enterprise (SME) context. An extensive review of continual learning, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and SME literature was conducted. Building on existing research, this thesis establishes a novel approach to the role of learning in the development of sustainable
more » ... ons and behaviours through SME exemplars of SMP. Gapp and Fisher's (2008) model (GFM) provided a lens for the normative re-educative framework that promotes transformation through continual learning including reflection and feedback (Gapp & Fisher, 2007, 2008). Continual learning stimulates organisational development through collaboration and reflection to help build and maintain a competitive advantage in CSR within the SME setting. Existing research on sustainability and CSR in the SME sector is primarily based on northern hemisphere views and corporate contexts. This dissertation provides a general background on CSR and sustainability, and then outlines contemporary views that define CSR through the five dimensions of economic, stakeholder, environmental, voluntariness, and social aspects (Dahlsrud, 2008). SMEs lack connectivity with the term CSR because of the 'corporate' element (Baden & Harwood, 2012), and therefore the term sustainable management practices (SMP) has been adopted and interchanged with CSR as a more appropriate fit for the SME context (Stewart & Gapp, 2014).
doi:10.25904/1912/595 fatcat:wdckpo5z55hejoeqhdqzvh2re4