Title: Sustainability-driven entrepreneurship and high-growth SMEs: how to combine Davids' and Goliaths' worlds?

Authors: Céline Bérard; Séverine Saleilles

Addresses: University of Lyon, Lyon 2, COACTIS, 14-16 avenue Berthelot, 69007 Lyon, France ' University of Lyon, Lyon 1, LSAF, 50 Avenue Tony Garnier, 69007 Lyon, France

Abstract: This paper aims to explore how sustainability-driven SMEs experiencing high growth can succeed in combining the best of the Davids' and Goliaths' worlds. An in-depth case study was conducted within a French SME, a pioneer in organic vegetable distribution that has succeeded in evolving from an 'idealistic David' to a 'high-growth David'. Research findings reveal two sets of key actions successfully carried out by this firm: the development of a hybrid organisation through a staff representing the skills of both Davids' and Goliaths' worlds, and of a learning organisation through exploration and exploitation. They also illustrate some challenges facing most high-growth SMEs and identify some specific tensions that can arise due to the coexistence of these two worlds, in particular value diversity within the top management team.

Keywords: sustainability-driven entrepreneurship; high-growth SMEs; small and medium-sized enterprises; hybrid organisations; learning organisations; organic vegetables; case study; France; exploration; exploitation; top management teams; TMT; value diversity.

DOI: 10.1504/IJODE.2016.082336

International Journal of Organisational Design and Engineering, 2016 Vol.4 No.3/4, pp.195 - 212

Received: 02 Feb 2015
Accepted: 15 Aug 2015

Published online: 20 Feb 2017 *

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