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The Resilience of a Sustainability Entrepreneur in the Swedish Food System
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
Number of Authors: 4
2016 (English)In: Sustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 8, no 6, 550Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Organizational resilience emphasizes the adaptive capacity for renewal after crisis. This paper explores the sustainability and resilience of a not-for-profit firm that claims to contribute to sustainable development of the food system. We used semi-structured interviews and Holling's adaptive cycle as a heuristic device to assess what constitutes social and sustainable entrepreneurship in this case, and we discuss the determinants of organizational resilience. The business, Biodynamiska Produkter (BP), has experienced periods of growth, conservation and rapid decline in demand, followed by periods of re-organization. Our results suggest that BP, with its social mission and focus on organic food, meets the criteria of both a social and sustainability entrepreneurial organization. BP also exhibits criteria for organizational resilience: two major crises in the 1970s and late 1990s were met by re-organization (transformation) and novel market innovations (adaptations). BP has promoted the organic food sector in Sweden, but not profited from this. In this case study, resilience has enhanced sustainability in general, but trade-offs were also identified. The emphasis on trust, local identity, social objectives and slow decisions may have impeded both economic performance and new adaptations. Since the successful innovation Ekoladan in 2003, crises have been met by consolidation rather than new innovations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 8, no 6, 550
Keyword [en]
sustainability entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, economic resilience, Sweden, organic production
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-132492DOI: 10.3390/su8060550ISI: 000378776800047OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-132492DiVA: diva2:953225
Available from: 2016-08-17 Created: 2016-08-15 Last updated: 2016-08-17Bibliographically approved

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Hahn, Thomas
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