Hållbarhetens påverkan vid beslutsfattande : En kvalitativ flerfallstudie om SMEs med en hållbarhetsprofil

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Luleå tekniska universitet/Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik, konst och samhälle

Sammanfattning: Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability are concepts that have become increasingly more relevant, where it is no longer accepted by society that companies only prioritize the interests of shareholders without also looking to the interests of society. This has led to large companies being obligated to make sustainability reports in order to report their impact on society. This does not apply to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and therefore we have chosen to investigate how SMEs that have a clear sustainability profile are affected by sustainability in their decision-making. There has been some research on why one chooses to be more sustainable as an SME, but there has been little research on how this affects the SMEs who work with sustainability in their day-to-day business decisions when they have more than the shareholders to answer to. To investigate this phenomenon, we have done five case studies where we have interviewed five people who are involved in the decision-making in different SMEs. The purpose is to understand how small and medium-sized enterprises that have a clear sustainability profile work with sustainability and how that in turn affects their decision-making. To descriptively describe how decisions are made in relation to sustainability we have used several theories to capture the overall multifaceted reality that these SMEs are faced with in their decision-making. This in turn has made it possible for us to describe this reality by understanding to what extent the companies work with sustainability, how that in turn affects the reference points the companies have and how the interpretation of risk becomes a determining factor in how a SME makes its decisions.  What we have seen is that decisions are governed by aspects such as the extent to which sustainability permeates the company which in turn affects the reference point that is chosen when weighing the utility of different decisions. We have also seen how companies interpret risk affects to what extent they choose to compromise in their sustainability work. Industry aspects have also been an affecting factor as some companies are more dependent on other stakeholders for their operations which creates a complicated balance between how you weigh the financial against the sustainable.

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