Revisiting the Nexus of Entrepreneurship and Sustainability - Towards an Affective and Interactive Framework for the Sustainability Entrepreneurship Journey

Steffen Farny

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles

Abstract

The aim of this essay-based dissertation is to reframe the nexus of entrepreneurship and sustainability. First, it develops our practice-based and emotive understanding of the mechanisms and outcomes of the individual and collective sustainability-oriented entrepreneurship journey. Second, it provides an integrative framework of how entrepreneurship research and education could adopt a longer-term orientation that emphasizes intra- and inter-generational equity. The dissertation comprises three empirical studies (a longitudinal single-case study, a multiple-case analysis, and a six-year ethnographic study), a conceptual paper and a discussion paper. The empirical work is based on different data sets collected in a community in Haiti and in community-based enterprises in Europe. Paper 1 questions how a successful sustainable cooperative enterprise evolves to shed light on the elements that constitute the sustainability entrepreneurship journey, from initial idea, via opportunity development and exploitation to becoming profitable. Paper 2 addresses how entrepreneurs manage members' attachment to and engagement in sustainability entrepreneurship. The paper reveals the importance of managing internal tensions and the subsequent building of emotional attachment and affective loyalty between members and the venture. Paper 3 questions how collective emotions are created through, contain, and enable institutional work practices. It illustrates that sustainability entrepreneurship can create and maintain collective compassion, hope and passion in a community. Paper 4 revisits the basic assumptions of sustainability entrepreneurship. This conceptual paper introduces a novel framing of entrepreneurship at the action-interaction nexus that perceives opportunities as intersubjectively imagined and negotiated. Paper 5 challenges the beliefs and uncontested values present in most entrepreneurship education conducted in higher education institutions in order to build awareness of and argue for the necessity of there being a sustainability entrepreneurship perspective in education. In sum, the thesis contributes novel ideas substantiated by empirical findings on how to reconceptualize the sustainable entrepreneurship journey on four distinct levels of enquiry. By discussing the beginning, management of, and end of the sustainable entrepreneurship journey, the dissertation extends the entrepreneurship journey framework towards alternative pro-social and environmentally-conscious forms of entrepreneurship, strengthening and integrating the affective and interactive nature of hybrid venturing.
Translated title of the contributionRevisiting the Nexus of Entrepreneurship and Sustainability - Towards an Affective and Interactive Framework for the Sustainability Entrepreneurship Journey
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Kibler, Ewald, Thesis Advisor
  • Kautonen, Teemu, Thesis Advisor
Publisher
Print ISBNs978-952-60-7164-0
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-7163-3
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Keywords

  • entrepreneurship journey
  • emotions
  • post-disaster
  • sustainability

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