How small organisations develop sustainability-oriented strategies: evidence from northwest Himalayas


Purpose – Using Gibson and Tarrant’s (2010) resilience triangle model, this study explores how small northwest Himalayan organisations respond to contextual challenges and opportunities and embed sustainability strategies in the organisations’ operational values. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative exploratory design through individual and group interviews with owner-managers and employees was held in five small northwest Himalayan organisations. Findings – The findings reveal multiple contextual challenges facing small organisations in northwest Himalayas, including ecological conditions, remoteness, underdeveloped infrastructure and human competencies. The investigated organisations respond to these challenges through reactive and innovation based services like eco-tourism, conservation and educational initiatives. The organisations engage communities through participatory and educational activities. Owner-managers adjust the respective vision and mission statements, train employees on sustainability values and lobby the government on policy changes to embed sustainability strategies. Some organisations invest in resources and capabilities and others in process capabilities. Practical implications – Small organisations can improve how the organisations predict contextual issues by developing the organisations’ process capabilities, specifically by creating practical tools with parameters relevant to ecological conditions. These organisations can set the tools through participatory actions with the broader communities to ensure the (un)intended consequences of environmental issues are considered. Furthermore, improvements in process and human capabilities will provide new approaches to raising business opportunities, especially in post-pandemic business environments. Originality/value – This study develops a framework that enhances the understanding of how process capabilities, leadership, people and knowledge capabilities are critical to developing and embedding sustainability strategies in small organisations.


The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.


Small organisations, Sustainability strategies, Resilience theory, Northwest Himalayas


Gonibeed, A., Kah, S. and Wanjiru, R. (2023) How small organisations develop sustainability-oriented strategies: evidence from northwest Himalayas. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research,


Research Institute

Centre for Enterprise and Innovation (CEI)