Associative Sustainable Business Model

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* Article: Associative Sustainable Business Models: Cases in the bean-to-bar chocolate industry. By Peter Jack Gallo, Raquel Antolin-Lopez, and Ivan Montiel. Journal of Cleaner Production, November 2017


"This study contributes to the growing literature of Sustainability Business Models (SBM) by introducing a new category coined as Associative Sustainability Business Models (ASBM). We theorize that this category encompasses firms with innovative business models that rely on partnership, association and collaboration to create value in the triple bottom line and address pressing sustainability challenges. Following an inductive research approach, we analyze four case studies of ASBM ventures in the chocolate industry. Our findings reveal the emergence of two key theoretical constructs (firm location and claimant identity) that help to identify differences across ASBM designs and lead to four different sub-categories of ASBM. In addition, drawing on the literature of Sustainable Business Models, we developtheoretical propositions that link our four subcategories of ASBM to the business case for sustainability. Therefore, we extend the literature on SBM by providing new insights on how business model innovations based on strong association and collaboration can generate solutions to social and environmental challenges."