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Business sustainability in micro and small enterprises in the community of Gasparillo

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posted on 2023-10-09, 15:17 authored by Arvin Nagir

The focus of this research is on developing a model for Micro-Small Enterprises (MSEs) to transition to business sustainability whilst creating shared value for the community of Gasparillo, Trinidad, where the community makes a significant contribution to the oil and gas sector. Importantly, there is a paucity in the literature on MSEs’ transition to business sustainability practice and shared value creation for stakeholders within the context of a community in a developing country. Therefore, the research is underpinned by shared value creation theory, which has been used to augment the traditional lens of stakeholder theory to shed a more critical light on business sustainability.

The researcher analyses how business owners have been impacted by economic changes and the measures they have adopted to create shared value for their customers. Additionally, the study sheds light on the barriers and enablers to transitioning to business sustainability, leading to an analysis of the transition strategies used by micro and small entrepreneurs to address these.

The study adopted an inductive approach which led to an interpretivist paradigm following exploratory research. The ten cases were created utilising semi-structured interviews with the business owners and customers of the MSEs. This was supported by NVivo 12, which aided in the generation of coding and analysing of data to identify themes and recurring patterns from the ten cases.

From the findings, it was gleaned that smaller actors belonging to MSEs in a small community setting with fewer/limited resources can provide shared value creation for customers, as shared value creation is not only for large corporations. Another key finding pertaining to the transition is that MSEs need to have an appropriate business strategy. The research finds that transformational leadership and to a lesser extension succession planning align well with transition management and provide the required attributes to drive and support the transition process. With respect to practice, the findings of the research show that MSEs from diverse sectors demonstrated similar leadership approaches and iterative transition processes. The MSEs in this research illustrate how transformational leaders have successfully engaged employees, built cross-sector partnerships, leveraged technology and innovation, and engaged with stakeholders - primarily customers - to drive business sustainability outcomes and shared value creation. The research also highlights the iterative transition processes undertaken by MSEs on their sustainability drive, allowing them to develop resilience, responsiveness, and the ability to handle impending challenges and opportunities.

The proposed model for transitioning towards business sustainability and value creation would be beneficial to both current and future local MSE owners, as well as for MSEs in communities in any developing country, in terms of the institution of intervention-type policies and procedures. Furthermore, the study shows that shared value creation theory can be a vital path for augmenting stakeholder theory as a means for achieving business sustainablity.



Anglia Ruskin University

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  • Professional Doctorate

Thesis type

  • Doctoral

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Faculty of Business and Law


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