Progressive Business Models

The book collects and analyzes 11 exemplary cases of progressive business. Progressive business is understood as ecologically sustainable, future respecting and pro-social enterprise. The collected cases aim to show the best to be expected from business in the 21st century. Authors include Eleanor O'Higgins, Laszlo Zsolnai, Antonio Tencati, Knut Ims, Nel Hofstra, Luit Kloosterman and Michael Müller-Camen.

The purpose of each case chapter is to delineate the business model of the selected case and how it creates an enterprise that is ecologically sustainable, future respecting and pro-social. Since business models are basically stories about how enterprises work, case studies lend themselves very well to telling a story. The case study is essentially a structured descriptive narrative that depicts the past, present and potential future of the enterprise, how it came to develop and implement its business model and how it works. Issues and challenges faced by the enterprise and its business model will be presented in the case study. The case chapters will conclude with generalizable insights offered by the case. These insights will provide a basis for pedagogical analyses which can be applied to the material and used by instructors with students as appropriate.

Companies ranging from small single unit enterprises to large global multinationals will be represented in the book. The companies following progressive business practices are also representative of a variety of industries and countries as follows: Triodos Bank (ethical and sustainable banking, The Netherlands/transnational), Béres Co. (preventive and natural medicine and organic wine making, Hungary), Illy Café (artisan coffee production and distribution, Italy/international), DKV Integralia (inclusion of disabled people into society and the workplace, Spain), Sonnentor (organic food, Austria), Novo Nordisk (pharmaceutical products, Denmark/multinational),  Armor (printer accessories and cartridge recycling, France),  Lumituuli (clean technology, Finland), John Lewis Partnership (co-operative model governance in retailing, UK), Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group (responsible hospitality, Norway/international), and Unilever (consumer goods, UK/Netherlands/global).

Eleanor O'Higgins and Laszlo Zsolnai