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The Nature of Sustainability Challenge in Small and Medium Enterprises and its Management


  • Jayasundara, JMSB
  • Rajapakshe, PSK
  • Prasanna, RPIR
  • Naradda Gamage, Sisira Kumara
  • Ekanayake, EMS
  • Abeyrathne, GAKNJ


The term sustainability in the context of the business world refers to the ability of a company to survive and succeed in a dynamic, competitive, and challenging business environment. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) must adapt to the changing environment and take appropriate measures to mitigate the change. To strike a balance between the triple bottom line – people, planet, and profit - by SMEs, reducing pollution and resource degradation, in the long run, is necessary. It is, therefore, required to understand the nature of challenges posed by the changing environment to the sustainability of SMEs. According to the existing literature, the challenges to sustainability include the ability to deal with economic and social change, engage in responsible and ethical business practices, efficient use of natural resources and protecting the environment, provide high-quality products and services, and develop metrics to determine if the company is meeting stakeholder needs. With this background, a systematic literature review was carried out to explore the insights of the existing knowledge on the nature of environmental sustainability challenges to small and medium enterprises and its management, particularly in the Asian context. Relevant papers were selected, followed by rigorous and extensive web searching based on the standard filtering approaches, and the sustainability challenges and their dynamic interactions in the context of SMEs are broadly discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Jayasundara, JMSB & Rajapakshe, PSK & Prasanna, RPIR & Naradda Gamage, Sisira Kumara & Ekanayake, EMS & Abeyrathne, GAKNJ, 2019. "The Nature of Sustainability Challenge in Small and Medium Enterprises and its Management," MPRA Paper 98418, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:98418

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    Sustainability challenges; Efficiency; Environmental protection; Socio-economic changes; Ethical business; Stakeholder needs;

    JEL classification:

    • M2 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics

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