Exploring the relation between individual moral antecedents and entrepreneurial opportunity recognition for sustainable development

Journal of Cleaner Production 172 (172):1582-1591 (2018)
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When dealing with complex value-driven problems such as sustainable development, individuals need to have values and norms that go beyond the appropriation of tangible business outcomes for themselves. This raises the question of the role played by individual moral antecedents in the entrepreneurial process of opportunity recognition for sustainable development. To answer this question, an exploratory empirical research design was used in which 96 would-be entrepreneurs were subjected to real-life decision-making processes in an online environment. The participants were guided through the process of opportunity recognition for sustainable development. Furthermore, they were subjected to several tests linked to individual moral antecedents. The mixed methods design used to analyze the results led to the conclusion that pro-environmental behavior values and moral competencies are important indicators of the ability to recognize opportunities for sustainable development. These results provide useful insights about relating moral antecedents to idea generation for sustainable development and can help researchers, higher education institutes, and sustainable entrepreneurs to further develop the concept of sustainable entrepreneurship and its underlying processes.

Author's Profile

Vincent Blok
Wageningen University and Research


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