Document Type

Conference Paper


This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only


Business and Management.

Publication Details

Irish Academy of management Conference 2014.


This research investigates the current status of sustainable business development practises in Ireland using qualitative analysis on data obtained from semi-structured interviews. The thirteen interviewees were chosen to represent a wide spectrum of influential organisations in Irish society and included private businesses, charity organisations, faith-based organisations, farmer associations, and government representatives. Analysis of the findings confirmed that the three well established key elements that must be considered if businesses are to be developed in a sustainable way, namely Profit, People, and Planet are still valid. However, this research also found that there were other elements important for developing sustainable business. To this end, a unique sustainable business development theory emerged from the research findings of this study. This theoretical model identifies four specific key components that are essential inputs to developing sustainable business. These four input components were deemed by the research subjects as essential key elements in the ethos and policies of their businesses in order to maintain sustainability. They included a for-profit ethos, a not-for-profit ethos, an ethical/moral/spiritual ethos and government policy. The research found that business leaders guided by a robust moral/ethical compass who incorporate the input components of this model into their business strategy, will maintain a strong focus on sustainable business development.


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