Organisational culture’s influence on the integration of sustainability in SMEs : A multiple case study of the Jönköping region

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, Företagsekonomi; Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, Företagsekonomi; Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, Företagsekonomi

Sammanfattning: Background: Existing literature suggests research about sustainability and Small- and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) to be limited. SMEs tend to have less resources than large companies and as a result of this sustainability integration may be challenging. Despite these resource restrictions, some SMEs still succeed in integrating sustainability. Some literature suggests that organisational culture could influence the integration of sustainability. Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to investigate how organisational culture attributes influence the integration of sustainability in Swedish SMEs. Method: To fulfil the purpose of this thesis, a multiple case study consisting of six SMEs in the Jönköping region is performed. Qualitative semi-structured interviews are conducted with the manager and/or head of sustainability. Furthermore, structured interviews are conducted with managers and employees, in an attempt to gain insights into the values and cultural attributes of the organisational culture of the SME.   Main Findings: The results reveal that an organisational culture which emphasises internal relationships, stability and goal-setting and planning seem to facilitate the integration of sustainability. SMEs with the attribute of valuing internal relationships are aided in the integration of sustainability through the existence of tightly knit groups that work together toward the long-term goal of integrating sustainability. The positive influence of stability stems from the fact that the attribute provides structure, economic stability, and a stable employee base. A high focus on goal-setting and planning may enable the integration of sustainability through providing clear missions and objectives which the company strives toward.  Managerial Implications: This study urges three implications for managers of SMEs; 1. It provide managers with some understanding of how their organisational culture may affect sustainability integration. 2. It provide insight into the challenges companies may face as the result of lacking certain cultural attributes. 3.  It provide indications of which attributes that could be beneficial to develop or incorporate into the organisational culture in order to aid the integration of sustainability.

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