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Small business management and environmental engagement

Sampaio, AR, Thomas, R and Font, X (2012) Small business management and environmental engagement Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 20 (2). pp. 179-193.

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Small firms in tourism are characterised by informal approaches to management, allowing their owners to meet a variety of often overlapping business and personal goals. Environmental certification schemes generally require members to subscribe to formal environmental management systems (EMS), even when aimed at small business operators. This paper examines in detail the managerial approaches of a small group of owner-managers who are operating within the approximately 3000-member Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) available in the UK and Ireland. The findings suggest that the type of environmental practices adopted most willingly reflect the formality of management within the business and the owner-managers’ various backgrounds, values, reasons to be in business, expectations from acting and their understanding of the "environment". It finds that the "Plan-Do-Check-Review" approach of most EMS does not easily relate to the complex motivations and needs of the world of small business. The paper concludes that environmental engagement is more likely to be fostered if owner-managers’ managerial approaches and assumptions are better understood and that shared visions for environmental engagement are encouraged through informed dialogue. Both economic benefits and the fostering of "feel good" factors should be stressed if small tourism businesses are to adopt EMS programmes.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Sustainability
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Sampaio, AR
Thomas, R
Date : 1 March 2012
DOI : 10.1080/09669582.2011.602193
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2012 Taylor & Francis
Uncontrolled Keywords : Small tourism businesses, Managerial approaches, Environmental engagement, Qualitative research, Certification
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 16 May 2017 15:37
Last Modified : 24 Jan 2020 15:05

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