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Educational interventions for sustainable innovation in small and medium sized enterprises
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0186-0358
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2020 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 243, article id UNSP 118554Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sustainability innovation research suggests that when the managers of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) perceive sustainability as strategic, they undertake sustainable innovation. Educational interventions are, in turn, suggested to foster such views among these managers. But in the interaction between educators and managers, power matters for how knowledge is conveyed and educational interventions are understudied, especially when they are university-led. This article examines how actors' power affects the translation of knowledge between educators and SME managers. A conceptual framework combining translation and power-dependency theory is introduced and applied to the case study of a University-led competence development program offered to construction company managers in Sweden. The analysis reveals how imbalanced dependencies and power within interactions accumulated over time and came to interfere with the program's learning objectives. The study contributes practically by suggesting how mutual goals, time management, and relationship building can create a better context for educator-SME interactions and SME sustainability. The scientific contribution lies in introducing a new perspective on educational interventions for SMEs and providing a conceptual framework for future studies thereof. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2020. Vol. 243, article id UNSP 118554
Keywords [en]
Educational intervention, SME, Sustainable innovation, Translation, Power, Dependency
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-166805DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.118554ISI: 000498805600041OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-166805DiVA, id: diva2:1382545
Funder
The Kamprad Family Foundation, 20160063Available from: 2020-01-03 Created: 2020-01-03 Last updated: 2020-01-03Bibliographically approved

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