Facilitating work performance of sustainability-driven entrepreneurs through higher education

Petra Biberhofer, Claudia Lintner, Johanna Bernhardt, Marco Rieckmann

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This article explores the work performance of sustainability-driven entrepreneurs in order to be able to provide better learning settings in higher education for sustainability-driven entrepreneurship (SDE). Sustainability-driven entrepreneurs are actors who initiate and successfully implement sustainable innovations in pursuit of social and ecological objectives in addition to economic ones as the basis of their organizational strategy. SDE suggests an action-oriented process view and emphasizes the nexus of individuals and opportunities. This article argues that competencies as well as deeper levels of knowledge regarding values and worldviews are key dimensions constituting SDE. For the implementation of sustainable action strategies, key competencies as well as opportunities are essential for enabling work performance. For this qualitative–explorative study, 48 semi-structured interviews were conducted with entrepreneurs and managers from enterprises and non-profit organizations pursuing sustainable strategies and activities in their economic ventures in five European regions: Vienna, Gothenburg, Brno, Bolzano and Vechta. The findings have a number of implications for study programmes in higher education institutions aiming at developing student competencies as well as deeper levels of knowledge regarding values and worldviews, and fostering performance for SDE.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 201128 Sustainable building
  • 504007 Empirical social research
  • 105904 Environmental research

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