Organic Growth at Sonnentor
(10 pages of text)
The entrepreneur and founder of Sonnentor, an organic food production company, has grown his business by focusing on unusual strategic and operative choices. Sonnentor emphasizes socially and environmentally responsible behaviour in all its actions and has built its business on fair partnerships with employees, suppliers and other partners. The case highlights the role of “embedded sustainability” in the success of the business and presents the challenge of transferring the founder’s unique business philosophy, both to other domains and to a new managerial generation.
The case can be used in MBA or executive education courses on strategic management, entrepreneurship or corporate social responsibility to attain the following learning objectives:
- To discover the value-creation potential of socially and environmentally responsible entrepreneurial behaviour.
- To discuss the concept of embedded sustainability (prioritizing social and environmental values at the core of a company) and its effects on generating competitive advantage.
- To investigate the role of the entrepreneur in building and maintaining corporate values.
- To explore how a business philosophy built on sustainability and responsible behaviour can be inter-generationally transferred.
Alternatively, the case can be used in an international business or international marketing context, where the learning objectives include the following:
- To assess growth opportunities in different foreign markets and the transferability of competitive advantages from one market to another.
- To explore different foreign-market entry strategies (e.g., exporting, licensing, franchising, foreign direct investment) for small- and medium-sized enterprises and their respective advantages and disadvantages.
Austria , Medium, 2013
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