Industrialisation has brought great benefits to humankind but now, after 200 years of fossil fuel use, land clearance and pollution, the planet’s boundaries are being stretched to their limits. Going beyond these confines would have severe consequences for humankind. To prevent this from happening, government, corporate and community initiatives must focus on reducing the environmental impact of approximately 400 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), given that they produce approximately 70% of the world’s pollution, 60% of carbon emissions and have a significant impact on land. To date, research shows that SMEs have been environmental laggards and more needs to be understood to improve sustainability in the SME sector. Broadening the researcher’s methodological focus, beyond traditional singular approaches, improves knowledge generation and better informs policy and practice. This book paves the way by showing the reader that a mixed method research design is able to provide a deep, diverse and holistic understanding of sustainability and SMEs. Importantly, the book also provides an in-depth mapping of mixed method sustainability and SME research at a regional level.
As this book is about environmental sustainability framed in a business context, it will be of interest to researchers, academics, students and those in industry who are enquiring about the environmental sustainability of SMEs.
Table of Contents
Part A: Sustainability, SMEs and mixed methods
1: Key roots and approaches to sustainability Aharon Factor, John Parm Ulhøi and Norma Romm
2: Research in small and medium-sized enterprises and sustainability Aharon Factor, John Parm Ulhøi and Norma Romm
3: Mapping the existing methodological SME and sustainability landscape Aharon Factor and John Parm Ulhøi
Part B: Mixed methods in sustainability SME research: A global outlook
4: Mixed methods research and environmental management: a reflective perspective of a research group and some lessons from experience José F. Molina-Azorin, Maria D. Lopez-Gamero, Juan Jose Tari, Jorge Pereira-Moliner and Eva M. Pertusa-Ortega
5: Qualitative to quantitative and back: Reflecting on mixed methods approach for examining sustainability and small business Mark Gagnon
6: Mixed-methods: A pragmatic approach to researching SMEs and sustainability Alessandro Bressan
7: Reflecting on the use of mixed methods in the subject of sustainable strategies in manufacturing SMEs Eustathios Sainidis
8: A longitudinal mixed-method study of Australian SME environmental behaviour Aharon Factor
9: Exploring differences in perspectives regarding mixed methods and transdisciplinary research: A dialogue Norma Romm and Ralph Hamann
Part C: Added value, challeneges and practical relevance if applying mixed methods in research on sustainability in SME’s
10: Extending the value-added of mixed methods in sustainability research Elizabeth G. Creamer
11: Addressing the challenge of mixed methods integration through joint displays and clear writing Timothy C. Guetterman and Jennifer Moss Breen
12: Applied mixed methods and the added value Steve Harris, Bradley Pettitt, Ruth Hillary, Aharon Factor and John Parm Ulhøi
13: Lessons learned Aharon Factor and John Parm Ulhøi
Aharon Factor is an MBA specialist educator with Southern Cross University, NSW, Australia, and operates his start-up research and consulting company – Sustainable SME Consulting.
John Parm Ulhøi is Professor of Organization and Management Theory at the School of Business and Social Sciences, University of Aarhus, Denmark.