Green Innovations, Black Numbers - A Qualitative Study of Shared Value Creation in Norwegian Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
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The world is facing severe societal challenges. Globalization, resource scarcity and climate change, shifting economic and political power, technological advances and changing demographics are megatrends affecting lives of humans worldwide, today and for decades to come. Business is increasingly expected to contribute in solving these challenges. The proposals on how business should contribute are many. This study is a contribution to the understanding of one of these suggestions, namely the concept of shared value creation proposed by Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer. We explore how small and medium-sized enterprises offering innovations that address environmental challenges create shared value. We conduct a qualitative study where the empirical data constitutes 26 interviews with employees of nine different companies, as well as six interviews with experts in environmentally concerned innovations. This study contributes to theory by enhancing the knowledge on shared value creation and how it can be achieved. In particular we illuminate the microfoundations of shared value creation within small and medium-sized enterprises offering innovations that address environmental challenges.