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Paper info: Achieving Business Sustainability: The role of Integrity


Achieving Business Sustainability: The role of Integrity


Sergio Biggemann
University of Otago
New Zealand
Sergio Biggemann

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 27th IMP-conference in Glasgow, Scotland in 2011.


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Business sustainability is developing into a fundamental matter for practitioners and academics. The scope of sustainability has broadened from environmental matters only to include other topics such as good corporate citizenship, business relationships and value creation; all of them looking at a wide community of stakeholders and not only with focus on a limited number of shareholders. On the topic of relationships with stakeholders, this paper finds that an interaction enabler such as personal relationships with a member of a stakeholder group helps companies establishing beneficial projects for both parties, which later turn into the convergence point where the parties are able to discuss and resolve other relevant issues. Stakeholder groups that shared a project with the company felt that more value was created and were more supportive of the company‟s activities.
Regarding value creation and network integrity this paper finds that non-economic value is as important as economic value. Network integrity is built on consistency, trust, and pride. While consistency and trust are well known dimensions of business relationship, pride has not been studied previously. As pride needs no enforcement, when achieved, it strengths the links of the network and fosters business sustainability at little or no cost.
This paper concludes that relationship integrity increases business sustainability. Integrity strengths the links between actors in a network, reduces costs to build and maintain relationship and also reduced motivation for opportunistic behaviour. Integrity has positive effects on the parties‟ perception about value creation and how this is shared within the network. This research opens new avenues for businesses to become sustainable and also for academics to study business interaction in times of sustainability search.
Keywords: Sustainability, Integrity, Relationship Value, Pride