Industrialisation has brought great benefits to humankind but now, after 200 years of fossil fuel use, land clearance and pollution, the planet’s boundaries are being stretched to their limits. Going beyond these confines would have severe consequences for humankind. To prevent this from happening, government, corporate and community initiatives must focus on reducing the environmental impact of approximately 400 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), given that they produce approximately 70% of the world’s pollution, 60% of carbon emissions and have a significant impact on land. To date, research shows that SMEs have been environmental laggards and more needs to be understood to improve sustainability in the SME sector. Broadening the researcher’s methodological focus, beyond traditional singular approaches, improves knowledge generation and better informs policy and practice. This book paves the way by showing the reader that a mixed method research design is able to provide a deep, diverse and holistic understanding of sustainability and SMEs. Importantly, the book also provides an in-depth mapping of mixed method sustainability and SME research at a regional level.

As this book is about environmental sustainability framed in a business context, it will be of interest to researchers, academics, students and those in industry who are enquiring about the environmental sustainability of SMEs.

part B|107 pages

Mixed methods in sustainability SME research

chapter 4|15 pages

Mixed methods research and environmental management

A reflective perspective of a research group and some lessons from experience

chapter 5|20 pages

Qualitative to quantitative and back

Reflecting on mixed methods approach for examining sustainability and small business

chapter 6|16 pages


A pragmatic approach to researching SMEs and sustainability

part C|82 pages

Added value, challenges and practical relevance of applying mixed methods in research on sustainability and SMEs