Entrepreneurship, Sustainability and Resilience


Exploring Links between Entrepreneurship, Sustainability and Resilience, Special issue of Intl J Enterprising Communities, Edited by Brendan Gray and Rod McNaughton; Abstract deadline 31 Jul 2014


Exploring links between entrepreneurship, sustainability and resilience
International Journal of Enterprising Communities

Guest editors: Brendan Gray (University of Otago) and Rod McNaughton (University of Auckland)

  • Abstract due: 31 July 2014
  • Confirmation: 31 August 2014
  • Full papers submitted by: 15 January 2015

We are seeking conceptual and empirical papers that explore the theoretical interplay between entrepreneurship, sustainability and resilience. This offers an opportunity to examine the interface between these three constructs thus contributing to a significant scholarly debate and the development of theory that is importance to the broader field of business, economics, and allied fields of practice such as economic development. Possible topics include:

  • Tensions between sustainability and resilience
  • Mechanisms linking entrepreneurship to the resilience of individuals, organizations or communities
  • Institutional influences on entrepreneurship, sustainability and resilience
  • Studies of sustainability and resilience in real or virtual communities
  • Issues involved in using the constructs of sustainability and resilience at different levels, from the individual through to nations
  • Studies that focus on particular economic, social and/or ecological risks and human response viewed through the lens of sustainability and/or resilience
  • Approaches and issues to measuring sustainability and resilience
  • Other related issues.

“Resilience” is an increasingly important concept in our understanding of how organisations and local communities perform and respond to exogenous shocks. Research in a number of contexts suggests the actions of entrepreneurs result in more resilient organizations and economic systems that better withstand disruptions and recover quicker. However, there is limited knowledge of the specific mechanisms that drive this association, even though such knowledge would be valuable in helping organizations and regions to foster entrepreneurial activities that will better prepare them to deal with a variety of possible challenges.

Entrepreneurship researchers have made surprisingly few contributions to the discussion and understanding of “resilience”. Yet resilience and entrepreneurship have many attributes in common; for example, flexibility, adaptiveness, proactivity, and innovativeness. One of the key tensions in entrepreneurship theory – whether the actions of entrepreneurs move the economy toward equilibrium or away from it – has an analogy in resilience discourse; the question of whether resilience helps communities and/or organisations to preserve existing economic structures or adapt by forging new ones.

The dominance of the “sustainability” construct in the entrepreneurship literature may be one reason that researchers have yet to grapple with the possible overlap between entrepreneurship and resilience enhancing processes. Sustainability is associated with business models that minimize negative externalities, whereas resilience focuses more on adapting to change, especially sudden shocks in the external environment. Thus, while literature adopting a sustainability perspective tends to focus on how business effects the environment, a resilience perspective focuses more on how the environment affects business.

The Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy is published by Emerald. Articles should be a maximum of 10,000 words, including references and appendices. Information on the format of manuscripts is available at: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/products/journals/author_guidelines.htm?id=jec#10 Prospective authors should begin by sending an abstract of approximately 500 words to one of the guest editors before 31 July 2014. Selected authors will be invited to develop a full paper and submit it for review by 15 January 2015.


Professor Brendan Gray
University of Otago

Professor Rod McNaughton
University of Auckland

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