Managing Change towards Corporate Sustainability : A case study of Finnish SMEs

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen; Uppsala universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract:

Sustainability and corporate responsibility appears to be spoken topics in the business world.

Due to this, companies may have to reconsider the way they operate their business. The

previous studies within this field are mostly done for large companies and leave SMEs with

limited focus. Therefore, this study investigates how SMEs manage their change towards

corporate sustainability. The literature used in this study includes theory about change

management in general, change management process towards corporate sustainability, and

SMEs’ special characters. Based on the knowledge of the existing literature four case

companies were investigated and analysed. These chosen SMEs have moved through a

successful change process towards sustainable business. The findings revealed that an

external pressure such as image, is often the reason for the change. However, when planning

and implementing the change, SMEs usually lack knowledge and expertise about

sustainability, which hampers the change process. Commitment from employees and

especially the management is vital for the change to succeed. Moreover it is crucial that

company culture changes in order to complete the change process. Additionally, continuing to

evolve is important in order to maintain the change process, and avoid the risk of taking steps

back.

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