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Doing business in a post-growth economy : defining a research programme for post-growth and operationalizing a tool for steady-state-companies

Fischer, Franziska LU (2014) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM01 20141
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
The main interpretation of sustainable development for business is efficient technology, but this does not yield absolute environmental throughput reduction. Post-growth addresses the failure of the
efficiency paradigm and enlarges the solution space, therefore opening a promising avenue for businesses. But it lacks a systematic approach for companies to follow. There is a huge theoretical and practical gap.
A step towards use-inspired basic research, namely towards Pasteur’s quadrant, is needed. Sustainability
Science serves as an open research arena for this, permitting a transdisciplinary inquiry spanning the fields of business and management studies as well as post-growth. The results are theoretical contributions and the proposal... (More)
The main interpretation of sustainable development for business is efficient technology, but this does not yield absolute environmental throughput reduction. Post-growth addresses the failure of the
efficiency paradigm and enlarges the solution space, therefore opening a promising avenue for businesses. But it lacks a systematic approach for companies to follow. There is a huge theoretical and practical gap.
A step towards use-inspired basic research, namely towards Pasteur’s quadrant, is needed. Sustainability
Science serves as an open research arena for this, permitting a transdisciplinary inquiry spanning the fields of business and management studies as well as post-growth. The results are theoretical contributions and the proposal of a tool for practical use.
This work operationalizes post-growth in a systematic and scientific way with the help of the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes of Imre Lakatos. Principles which serve as guidance for steady-state-companies are synthesized from literature. Furthermore, four ways to operationalize postgrowth in business are presented: the steady-state-company strategies of Servitization of the value proposition, High-quality products, Promotion of Eco-friendly Needs and Rightsizing of Production. With the latter, the author enters into the relatively uncontested space of quantitative absolute throughput reduction strategies.
Additionally, this work advances the understanding of the complex social-ecological interaction of business, growth and environmental throughput through critical reframing of the producer’s solution space.
The main contribution is the proposal of a tool for the sustainability scientist’s toolbox, which is also of use to the business practitioner. The tool identifies absolute throughput reduction leverages for the
micro level, factoring in rebound effects. It is also suited to be a precise measuring instrument and is showcased with the help of three small company cases.
The tool has the potential to serve as a communicator of the goals and ideas of the post-growth research programme, thereby strengthening post-growth’s capabilities for the sustainable development discourse
and its mainstreaming.
Bridging rigor with relevance, the work comprises an important step towards a theory of a post-growth firm. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Fischer, Franziska LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM01 20141
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
sustainability science, strong sustainability, absolute environmental throughput reduction, business model innovation, sufficiency, rebound effects
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2014:010
language
English
id
4496829
date added to LUP
2014-06-19 15:44:33
date last changed
2014-06-19 15:44:33
@misc{4496829,
  abstract     = {The main interpretation of sustainable development for business is efficient technology, but this does not yield absolute environmental throughput reduction. Post-growth addresses the failure of the
efficiency paradigm and enlarges the solution space, therefore opening a promising avenue for businesses. But it lacks a systematic approach for companies to follow. There is a huge theoretical and practical gap.
 A step towards use-inspired basic research, namely towards Pasteur’s quadrant, is needed. Sustainability
Science serves as an open research arena for this, permitting a transdisciplinary inquiry spanning the fields of business and management studies as well as post-growth. The results are theoretical contributions and the proposal of a tool for practical use.
 This work operationalizes post-growth in a systematic and scientific way with the help of the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes of Imre Lakatos. Principles which serve as guidance for steady-state-companies are synthesized from literature. Furthermore, four ways to operationalize postgrowth in business are presented: the steady-state-company strategies of Servitization of the value proposition, High-quality products, Promotion of Eco-friendly Needs and Rightsizing of Production. With the latter, the author enters into the relatively uncontested space of quantitative absolute throughput reduction strategies.
 Additionally, this work advances the understanding of the complex social-ecological interaction of business, growth and environmental throughput through critical reframing of the producer’s solution space.
 The main contribution is the proposal of a tool for the sustainability scientist’s toolbox, which is also of use to the business practitioner. The tool identifies absolute throughput reduction leverages for the
micro level, factoring in rebound effects. It is also suited to be a precise measuring instrument and is showcased with the help of three small company cases.
 The tool has the potential to serve as a communicator of the goals and ideas of the post-growth research programme, thereby strengthening post-growth’s capabilities for the sustainable development discourse
and its mainstreaming.
 Bridging rigor with relevance, the work comprises an important step towards a theory of a post-growth firm.},
  author       = {Fischer, Franziska},
  keyword      = {sustainability science,strong sustainability,absolute environmental throughput reduction,business model innovation,sufficiency,rebound effects},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {Doing business in a post-growth economy : defining a research programme for post-growth and operationalizing a tool for steady-state-companies},
  year         = {2014},
}