University of Hertfordshire

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A sustainable approach to environmental uncertainty: SME leaders' attitudes and behaviours

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1- 20
Number of pages20
JournalIndustry and Innovation
Publication statusSubmitted - 3 Dec 2019


Small enterprise Owner-Managers (SEOM) are constantly challenged by their sector’s increasing environmental uncertainty, some proactively engage in Business Model Innovation (BMI), others react. Are these SEOM’s attitudes, values and behaviours around BMI, against the sector environmental uncertainties, driven by business value, altruism or serendipity?
This study explores the environmental uncertainty responses of these small enterprises, with a particular focus on the business model innovation evidenced. The study collected data from 60 small enterprises in the East of England. The findings indicate that SEOM’s alignment of attitudes, values and behaviour towards external environmental uncertainty is dependent on their level of knowledge, understanding and commitment to change, and as importantly the sector’s need for change. Those that are proactive are more successful, being first-mover in the sector, or seeking ways to co-produce added business/customer value.
Achieving significant business model innovation is possible when either driven by the industry towards compliance, and/or when the SEOM is committed to it, for either personal reasons (altruism) or in recognition of the business value, both short and long-term.

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