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Sustainable corporate entrepreneurship: insights from Pakistan

Sustainable corporate entrepreneurship: insights from Pakistan
Sustainable corporate entrepreneurship: insights from Pakistan
Sustainable corporate entrepreneurship (SCE) is the process of taking an opportunity-centred approach to latent and manifest social and/or environmental problems in order to create shared value, i.e. value for the business and society simultaneously. In practice, this means launching green products, conserving the use of natural resources, educating stakeholders, engaging in trust-building activities, greening of the supply chain, showing concern for employees, and producing products in response to unmet societal needs. SCE is an emerging field, which has been mostly studied in the context of individual entrepreneurs and small businesses in developed countries. This research aims to demonstrate the importance of SCE in creating shared value in the context of a developing country. I adopt a social constructionist approach in order to reveal how corporate managers construct their reality regarding what SCE means to them, and how and why they enact this socially constructed reality in their social world. Thus, this study makes a methodological contribution by revealing the social construction of SCE, as social constructionism has not been adopted in previous studies to explore the process of SCE.

I explore the process of SCE by drawing on case studies of nine corporations across three sectors of oil marketing, pharmaceuticals, and food and beverages in Pakistan. Empirically, this study draws on 34 semi-structured interviews conducted with the managers of four local companies and subsidiaries of five leading multinational companies operating in Pakistan. This thesis demonstrates important sectoral differences in the SCE approach of each of the sectors analysed, by developing a conceptual map of SCE for each sector, in addition to revealing significant differences in the SCE approach of local and multinational companies. Thus, the study contributes to the existing knowledge on SCE by highlighting the context sensitivity of the process of SCE, which extant research on SCE fails to recognize. Moreover, extant research on SCE only focuses on the outcome of SCE initiatives and neglects the contextual challenges of engaging in the process of SCE. Through this research, I also highlight important contextual challenges faced by the case companies in creating shared value. Thus, this thesis moves the field of SCE forward by empirically operationalizing the concepts of SCE and shared value, identifying sectoral differentials of SCE approach within a developing country and describing the contextual challenges of engaging in SCE practices, which remain un-explored in extant research on sustainable entrepreneurship.

Despite the above mentioned contributions to knowledge, the study has its limitations. This thesis relies heavily on interviews of corporate managers who may engage in impression management, i.e. making big claims regarding their company’s involvement in SCE. Secondly, the study is confined to how corporate managers construct their reality regarding the process of SCE. The general public’s views about the SCE initiatives of the case companies were not taken in to consideration. Hence this thesis does not present the entire picture of how SCE is practised by companies and perceived by consumers in Pakistan. Future research could address these limitations by exploring the perceptions of the general public towards the SCE initiatives of the case companies in the current study.
Atiq, Muhammad
719d6e46-433e-42d3-aea7-556a69634108
Atiq, Muhammad
719d6e46-433e-42d3-aea7-556a69634108
Karatas-Ozkan, Mine
f5b6c260-f6d4-429a-873a-53bea7ffa9a9

Atiq, Muhammad (2014) Sustainable corporate entrepreneurship: insights from Pakistan. University of Southampton, School of Management, Doctoral Thesis, 278pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Sustainable corporate entrepreneurship (SCE) is the process of taking an opportunity-centred approach to latent and manifest social and/or environmental problems in order to create shared value, i.e. value for the business and society simultaneously. In practice, this means launching green products, conserving the use of natural resources, educating stakeholders, engaging in trust-building activities, greening of the supply chain, showing concern for employees, and producing products in response to unmet societal needs. SCE is an emerging field, which has been mostly studied in the context of individual entrepreneurs and small businesses in developed countries. This research aims to demonstrate the importance of SCE in creating shared value in the context of a developing country. I adopt a social constructionist approach in order to reveal how corporate managers construct their reality regarding what SCE means to them, and how and why they enact this socially constructed reality in their social world. Thus, this study makes a methodological contribution by revealing the social construction of SCE, as social constructionism has not been adopted in previous studies to explore the process of SCE.

I explore the process of SCE by drawing on case studies of nine corporations across three sectors of oil marketing, pharmaceuticals, and food and beverages in Pakistan. Empirically, this study draws on 34 semi-structured interviews conducted with the managers of four local companies and subsidiaries of five leading multinational companies operating in Pakistan. This thesis demonstrates important sectoral differences in the SCE approach of each of the sectors analysed, by developing a conceptual map of SCE for each sector, in addition to revealing significant differences in the SCE approach of local and multinational companies. Thus, the study contributes to the existing knowledge on SCE by highlighting the context sensitivity of the process of SCE, which extant research on SCE fails to recognize. Moreover, extant research on SCE only focuses on the outcome of SCE initiatives and neglects the contextual challenges of engaging in the process of SCE. Through this research, I also highlight important contextual challenges faced by the case companies in creating shared value. Thus, this thesis moves the field of SCE forward by empirically operationalizing the concepts of SCE and shared value, identifying sectoral differentials of SCE approach within a developing country and describing the contextual challenges of engaging in SCE practices, which remain un-explored in extant research on sustainable entrepreneurship.

Despite the above mentioned contributions to knowledge, the study has its limitations. This thesis relies heavily on interviews of corporate managers who may engage in impression management, i.e. making big claims regarding their company’s involvement in SCE. Secondly, the study is confined to how corporate managers construct their reality regarding the process of SCE. The general public’s views about the SCE initiatives of the case companies were not taken in to consideration. Hence this thesis does not present the entire picture of how SCE is practised by companies and perceived by consumers in Pakistan. Future research could address these limitations by exploring the perceptions of the general public towards the SCE initiatives of the case companies in the current study.

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More information

Published date: June 2014
Organisations: University of Southampton, Southampton Business School

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 365500
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/365500
PURE UUID: 4f8fa643-fe37-438e-a0bb-fbc113ada7b1
ORCID for Mine Karatas-Ozkan: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9199-4156

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Date deposited: 15 Oct 2014 10:41
Last modified: 01 May 2019 00:34

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