Despite the high number of active small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in all sectors, current studies have barely developed investigations on the sustainability of their business models so far. The aim of this study was thus to bridge the gap between sustainable business models of SMEs in the service industry, to uncover the challenges that SMEs face when seeking business model reconfiguration toward sustainability. More specifically, the empirical investigation adopted a case study research design in the context of yacht tourism, as one business form among many within the tourism industry and thus within the broader category of the service industry. Interviews were conducted with seven European SMEs, whose business models were analyzed through the lens of the triple bottom line and sustainability challenges in their business models. The results display a varied typology of case studies, where business model components reveal diverse expressions of facing sustainability challenges. The work discusses reported findings with a cross-case comparison among detected business models and outlines a list of propositions for sustainable business models of SMEs. The paper contributes in continuing the discourse on sustainable business models, adopting the perspective of the challenges for SMEs and offers food for thought for managers of SMEs in comparing their own business with the identified business model types.

Sustainable Business Models of SMEs: Challenges in Yacht Tourism Sector

Battistella C.;Cagnina MR.;Cicero L.;Preghenella N.
2018

Abstract

Despite the high number of active small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in all sectors, current studies have barely developed investigations on the sustainability of their business models so far. The aim of this study was thus to bridge the gap between sustainable business models of SMEs in the service industry, to uncover the challenges that SMEs face when seeking business model reconfiguration toward sustainability. More specifically, the empirical investigation adopted a case study research design in the context of yacht tourism, as one business form among many within the tourism industry and thus within the broader category of the service industry. Interviews were conducted with seven European SMEs, whose business models were analyzed through the lens of the triple bottom line and sustainability challenges in their business models. The results display a varied typology of case studies, where business model components reveal diverse expressions of facing sustainability challenges. The work discusses reported findings with a cross-case comparison among detected business models and outlines a list of propositions for sustainable business models of SMEs. The paper contributes in continuing the discourse on sustainable business models, adopting the perspective of the challenges for SMEs and offers food for thought for managers of SMEs in comparing their own business with the identified business model types.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
sustainability-10-03437.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: articolo principale
Tipologia: Versione Editoriale (PDF)
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 613.37 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
613.37 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11390/1142919
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 21
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 17
social impact