Keywords: preliminary study, sustainable development, sustainability, possible causes, Confucianism, institutional perspective, China, cultural resistance, culture, institutional barriers, regulation, enforcement, business leaders, sustainable growth, emerging markets
Possible causes inhibiting the sustainable development of Chinese companies: a preliminary study
The purpose of this preliminary study is to identify the possible causes inhibiting Chinese companies from sustainable development. A review was conducted both in the Western literature and within China itself. The data for this study are from semi–structured in–depth interviews with management consultants and business leaders in South China. The results of the study show that the wane of Confucianism, potential cultural resistance (i.e., high power distance and low individuality) and institutional barriers (i.e., lack of a stable institutional environment and ineffective regulatory and enforcement bodies) are the key inhibiting factors in building sustainable organisations in China. The results of this study are expected to provide important preliminary information to both international and Chinese business leaders when they seek to build a sustainable business in the Chinese context. The findings of this study have been generated from a small group of interviewees in a single area and thus cannot be considered conclusive. Therefore further research in other regions of China and other Asian developing countries should be conducted. The study offers novel insights from the business leader perspective into the causes inhibiting the companies' sustainable growth in emerging markets.