New Perspectives in Research on Corporate Sustainability series
Edited by Rolf Wüstenhagen, Jost Hamschmidt, Sanjay Sharma and Mark Starik
Chapter 2: Types of Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Conditions for Sustainability Innovation: From the Administration of a Technical Challenge to the Management of an Entrepreneurial Opportunity
Stefan Schaltegger and Marcus Wagner1 Companies are considered by many to be the main players with regard to creating environmental and social problems and thus to be the source of a lack of sustainability in society. From this point of view, government and non-government organizations have to create and control a tight regulatory framework for business. As a consequence, management is challenged to comply with regulations and requirements and to keep the unwanted, negative impacts under control. However, while this view tends to overestimate the possibilities of government, political programmes, legal regulations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), it underestimates and distorts the creative and shaping role of companies in society. For many years and with increasing visibility, management of leading companies have been core drivers of sustainable development. With their innovations, sustainable entrepreneurs and sustainability managers are shaping markets and society substantially. Cars, computers and the internet, for example, have changed the world more fundamentally than most political programmes. To be innovative means to provide organizational and technical improvements which can be sold successfully in the marketplace. In a market system, sustainable development requires sustainability innovation and entrepreneurs who can achieve environmental or social goals with superior innovations that are successful in the marketplace of mainstream customers. Market innovations driving sustainable development do not occur by accident but have to be created, promoted and implemented by leaders who put them into the core of their business activities. Actors and 27 28 Sustainable entrepreneurship companies realizing market success in the mass market...