Exploring the role of stakeholder interaction for developing organisational sustainability practices and sustainable business models
Abstract: Stakeholder interaction has been recognised as one of the main principles to advance organisational sustainability. However, there is only limited knowledge on how organisations interact with their stakeholders to develop sustainability practices from an overarching perspective. There is also only fragmented research on the role of stakeholders when developing a sustainable business model (SBM). The purpose of this thesis is therefore to explore the role of stakeholder interaction for developing organisational sustainability practices and SBMs.Three research questions drive this thesis which compiles three papers based on three individual studies. The first study concentrates on stakeholder interaction as an organisational sustainability practice applying quantitative methods. The second study is a systematic literature review analysing the role of stakeholder interaction to develop SBMs. The third study explores how organisations implemented stakeholder interaction efforts, using qualitative methods.The results reveal that stakeholder interaction implemented as organisational sustainability practices and part of the SBM includes multiple stakeholders and different interaction degrees, potentially leading to new value opportunities and virtuous cycles of sustainable value creation. However, while organisations recognise the importance of stakeholder interaction, most organisations focus on low-to medium interaction degrees related to specific sustainability activities. This may limits the potential of stakeholder interaction for developing organisational sustainability practices and SBMs.This thesis contributes to sustainability, stakeholder and SBM literature by systematically exploring the role of stakeholder interaction, highlighting different degrees and extents practices are implemented in organisations. For practitioners, insights are offered how to foster stakeholder interaction practices and with that move towards organisational sustainability.
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