Contributors: Liesen, Andrea, Dr. (Institut für ökologische Wirtschaftsforschung)
Scientific paper contribution: Successful Non-Growing Companies
This paper is co-authored by Christian Dietsche & Jana Gebauer.
Abstract: Suggested concepts of post-growth economies have so far shed little light on the functioning of business. With this paper, we aim to translate discussions on post-growth economies to the company level and examine ten Successful Non-Growing Companies (SNCs) with regard to their motivations, key performance indicators and strategies. We find that a common feature among these companies is that quantitative growth, measured e.g. in sales or market share, is clearly subordinated to qualitative growth. Not "bigger" but "better" appears to be the dominant management philosophy. Better, and ultimately the way in which SNCs measure success, refers to a diverse set of indicators, including product quality, efficiency, unused resources, quality of life, the social and environmental value of products or local embeddedness. We postulate the concept of SNCs has potential to support the cultural shift needed on the company level for the transformation towards post-growth economies. Given the limited scalability of our results and relative novelty of the subject matter, we use our finding to formulate avenues for future research.