Scholarly article on topic 'Why Eco-friendly Family Business is Less Popular in Indonesia?'

Why Eco-friendly Family Business is Less Popular in Indonesia? Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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{"Ecopreneurship concept" / "Indonesian family businesses" / barriers}

Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Arien A. Gunawan, Wawan Dhewanto

Abstract Family businesses are expected to respond and do some actions regarding the emerging issues of sustainability in business. The model of triple bottom line, where planet, people, and profit is the focus, is encouraged to become the core values of today's enterprises. Khare (2003) supports Schumpeter's theory that entrepreneurs are strategic factors in economic development (or economic evolution of modern capitalism). Therefore, an ecopreneurial behavior in business can be a very wise decision in order to be sustainable. Looking at the trend of entrepreneurs in Indonesia, it is believed that they only focus on profit-orientation. This study used qualitative design where data is collected by distributing open-ended structured surveys to five micro-small family enterprises. The findings were successors have limited knowledge on ecopreneurships due to lack of information provided by the Government. The Government, academicians, and practitioners should provide more information on the importance of ecopreneurships to increase people's awareness and for their business sustainability through research publications and advertisements.

Academic research paper on topic "Why Eco-friendly Family Business is Less Popular in Indonesia?"

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Social and Behavioral Sciences

Procedía - Social and Behavioral Sciences 57 (2012) 61 -68 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

International Conference on Asia Pacific Business Innovation and Technology Management

Why Eco-friendly Family Business is Less Popular in Indonesia? Arien A. Gunawan and Wawan Dhewanto

Entrepreneurship and Technology Management Research Group School of Business and Management - Institut Teknologi Bandung Indonesia


Family businesses are expected to respond and do some actions regarding the emerging issues of sustainability in business. The model of triple bottom line, where planet, people, and profit is the focus, is encouraged to become the core values of today's enterprises. Khare (2003) supports Schumpeter's theory that entrepreneurs are strategic factors in economic development (or economic evolution of modern capitalism). Therefore, an ecopreneurial behavior in business can be a very wise decision in order to be sustainable. Looking at the trend of entrepreneurs in Indonesia, it is believed that they only focus on profit-orientation. This study used qualitative design where data is collected by distributing open-ended structured surveys to five micro-small family enterprises. The findings were successors have limited knowledge on ecopreneurships due to lack of information provided by the Government. The Government, academicians, and practitioners should provide more information on the importance of ecopreneurships to increase people's awareness and for their business sustainability through research publications and advertisements.

©2012PublishedbyElsevierLtd.Selection and/orpeer-reviewunderresponsibility oftheAsiaPacific BusinessInnovationandTechnology ManagementSociety (APBITM)

Keywords: Ecopreneurship concept; Indonesian family businesses; barriers

1. Introduction

The increasing number of people's awareness in environmental issues has motivated stakeholders to be more environmentally responsible in doing business.[15] This phenomenon leads to the emerging need to

consider sustainability of business and the environment as an important issue. Countries around the world had

formulated Environment Management Standards represented by ISO 14000 to be implemented by private and public enterprises. Indonesia was also one of the countries who were obliged to implement ISO 14000. Whereas

some developed countries have been implementing it since it was first introduced, Indonesia has not yet been

able to strictly apply the standards to all kinds of enterprises.

Indonesia is missing an opportunity to earn more profits and increase its workforce productivity due to the lack of industries which could provide value-added products to be exported.[11] Many of the Indonesian products were accepted in the international market such as apparels, agriculture products, oils, coals, and many more. It proves that Indonesian products are in good quality standards and to increase the quality, it is important to have competitive advantages for the sustainability of business. More benefits for the business and the security of its long-term competitiveness can be achieved through sustainability.[31] It is also found that Indonesia has

limited competitive advantages compared to other countries in the neighborhood.[11] Environmental friendly

1877-0428 © 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of the Asia Pacific Business Innovation and Technology

Management Society (APBITM)



initiatives brought a lot of advantages for a company as it creates positive corporate image; providing a model for regulations; lessen tax costs; increasing the number of trading partner collaboration; and improves key performance indicators.[15] Referring to the issues above, it is believed to be a great opportunity to conduct this study on the existence of eco-friendly family businesses and their knowledge on eco-friendly business in Indonesia. This study aims to see how ecopreneurship is viewed in the perspective of Indonesian family business successors, its barriers, and to change the existing paradigm of entrepreneurship in Indonesia. The research questions were what ecopreneurship is in the perspective of family business successors, what are the barriers of ecopreneurship, and are family values which are adopted had influenced their family firm's preference in adopting eco-friendly values?

2. Family Business

A family firm is defined as "an organization owned and/or controlled by members of a family or kinship group".[15] Family business is a business owned or controlled by two or more members of a family and the structure can also consists of non-family members. Although references on family businesses in Indonesia are still limited, few surveys had been done by researchers to provide knowledge on how to manage family businesses.[34] They argued that, "based on an economic census survey on the number of family businesses in Indonesia in 1996 conducted by the Centre of Statistical Agency, there are 15.741.563 family businesses living among the total number of 16.426.933 entrepreneurs".[34] However, few researchers have studied micro and small family businesses.

According to Huang, Ding, and Kao (2009), family business were said to be more socially responsible than non-family business. They also argued that family values are said to aspire the family business values.[15] If the family adopt green values in their lives then it is more likely to be implemented as the family firm's value as well. In line with the arguments above, Aronoff (2004) agreed that the family business core values are similar to the family's values.[2] From the previous research, it is found that family businesses are more likely to pay more attention to environmental practices than non-family business.[15]

As this study used micro and small family enterprise as the respondents, micro enterprise is defined by enterprise which consists of two to five employees. A nanocorp is defined as, "an enterprise with three employees or less, is both a personal preference and competitive advantage, allowing the owners to downsize to provide incredible adaptability, innovation and creativity".[16] Some researchers such as Schaper[29] argue that the role of SME's in the environmental movement is overrated, since a limited research exists at an SME's level.[1] However if we consider that SME's constitute the 95% of enterprises in European and national level, we can easily conclude that SME's have a significant effect to environmental protection.[24] The role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME's) in the economies of the world is very important by contributing to the economic growth and employing many people.[3] More challenges in running a business with social and ecological goals will be faced by larger companies.[16] It is suggested that large companies should work hand in hand with SMEs in overcoming environmental issues caused by the operation of their business.[35] [37]

3. Ecopreneurship

3.1. Definition of green innovations and ecopreneurs

Huang, Ding, and Kao (2009) believed that "green innovations are new technical improvement or administrative practices for improving natural environmental performance and competitive advantage of an organization."[15] Global Urban Development (2010) mentioned that ESA (Economic and Statistics Administration) in U.S. defines green products and services as "those whose predominant functions serves to

conserve energy or other natural resources and reduces poUution".[14] Therefore, it can be said that all green practices embedded in the products/services, process of production, whether technical or administrative is green initiatives.

Although many entrepreneurs only focused on profit, an increasing number of ecopreneurs adopted different paradigm, focused on greening the bottom line and solving the problems in the society caused by their business.[16] Ecopreneurs are entrepreneurs who not only cares for the profits of their business, but also pay more attention to the underlying green values while entrepreneurs do not have these kind of attention.[19] Ecopreneurs can be said as a 'pull' factor that persuade other firms to proactively adopt green values, in contrast, government regulation and stakeholder or lobby-group pressure can act as the 'push' factors.[29] Entrepreneurs and ecopreneurs are differentiated by its business purpose where entrepreneurs are profit-oriented; ecopreneurs are both profit- and environmental-friendly-oriented business.

3.2. Advantages of applying eco-friendly business

Referring to the explanation above, it is known that eco-friendly business gives a lot of advantages. The green enterprise is still an interesting enterprise to choose.[30] Green innovations balanced corporate responsibility on the sustainability of nature and maximizing profit by allowing their adopters to be the innovator of regulation and competition.[14] Green entrepreneurship has boosted the competitiveness of Greek furniture enterprises.[24] There are a lot more benefits for the sustainability of the business, people, planet and also increase the company's competitiveness.

3.3. Barriers in implementing ecopreneurship

Several barriers of sustainability in the start-up process were identified[30]:

• Lack of information

• Business advisers' limited knowledge and willingness to share information on ecological issues

• Lack of awareness by start-up entrepreneurs on the potential market of environmentally friendly businesses

• Limited public funding available for promoting sustainable enterprises

Moreover, Baxter (2004) included other barriers such as lack of incentives, lack of ability and lack of supervision and support on the implementation of EMS (Environmental Management System).[3] However, two major barriers faced by ecopreneurs were also recognized, namely, the negative response of potential users in using alternative technology and products especially agricultural.[27] Based on the studies above, it can be said that the most vital barriers in implementing eco-friendly business are lack of awareness, lack of knowledge/socialization and lack of guidance and support on how to implement environmental standards (ISO 14000).

4. Previous Studies on Family Business and Ecopreneurship

Many researchers have conducted studies on family business. Generational and survival issues such as

succession plan ([33]; [10]; [36]; [22]; [17]; [6]), gender issues ([5]; [21]; [23]; [8]), and other issues such as HR, marketing,

finance ([4]; [25]) are crucial issues in family business. However, there are only a few researchers which have

concerned on the sustainability of family business from the environmental issues. These researchers are Huang,

Ding and Kao (2009) which conducted their research regarding salient stakeholder voice on the adoption of

green innovation in family business.[15] They found that the most successful influence regarding corporate

natural environmental management usually comes from external stakeholders by internalizing the message.

Additionally, countries in the world, has also been conducting ecopreneurial studies regarding small and

medium enterprises ([32]; [24]; [35]), defining the term "ecopreneurs" ([13]; [29]; [9]; [28]; [19]) and assessing ecopreneurship concept ([1];[20]; [18]).

4.1. Research Gap

Persuading founders of new businesses with the idea of sustainability seems to be easier than to reconstruct the existing corporate cultures.[30] Schaper (2002) argues that "The greening of management is also a relatively new phenomenon and it is less well known, less researched and more poorly understood than entrepreneurship".[29] Limited studies exist which concern both on environmental and small firms issues in general.[19] The differences between ecopreneurs and conventional entrepreneurs is still less known.[20] Environmental protection is not a burden but a fundamental and necessary condition for high competitiveness.[24] The role of green entrepreneurship was popular to be studied in corporations or large firms.[1] Based on the research gaps stated by previous studies in ecopreneurship, this study would enrich researches regarding the issues of ecopreneurship especially in family businesses. Besides, the limited number of studies to date on ecopreneurship and family business in Indonesia and limited number of research publications has been the inspiration to conduct the study. The premises which are made from the research questions were that the respondents do not have sufficient knowledge about ecopreneurship; second, there are at least three main barriers in ecopreneurship; and third, family values do influence the adoption of ecopreneurial concept in Indonesian family firms.

5. Methodology

The samples in this study were five family business owners who were also the decision-maker in the firm. They all came from micro and small family enterprises because these kind of enterprises were expected to be more purposeful, flexible, adjustable, innovative and friendly.[16] The samples were purposively selected[1] and were assigned to answer an open-ended survey regarding to the issues in research questions. The survey was personally delivered to and picked up from the respondents and they were given several days to complete the survey. Reminders were also sent during the period of time.

The most appropriate approach for this study seemed to be qualitative research method, as Kirkwood and Walton (2010) in their study mentioned that this approach is particularly useful in areas that are not well advanced theoretically.[19] Qualitative analysis used for this study was interpretative approach. Interpretation can be defined as "the clarification of meaning, and understanding is the result of processes of interpreting, that is, grasping and comprehending the meaning that is felt, intended, and/or expressed by actors".[26] Therefore, it is believed that qualitative method is suitable for this study.

6. Results

The characteristics of the respondents were two males and three females, most of them were older than 45 years old, they were mostly well-educated, they were the founder and the first generation of the family business and they have been doing their business for more than two years. The first family business is in the environmental laboratory instruments industry, the second family business is from stationery and photocopy service industry, the third is in ethnic clothing (batik) industry, the fourth runs a food and beverage family business, and the last respondent is in mass-production clothing industry.

6.1. Family Values and the Implementation of Eco-Friendly Family Business

From the questionnaire which has been distributed to the respondents regarding the issues discussed earlier, all of them were back. It is found that most of the respondents have honesty, care for the environment,

and care for people as the family values adopted in the family business. Aronoff (2004) argued that family values are usually also implemented as the core values of family business.'2' If caring for the environment is the second most selected of their family values then their behavior on environment in terms of business should be in line. The fact is that those who consider green values in their lives did not automatically implement it in their business. According to the study, two respondents believed that they have implemented eco-friendly business; one was continuously recycling waste of his business in stationary and photocopy service industry while the one in food industry thought that selling foods without preservative is a green action. The preference of new venture to work in a more sustainable manner will depend on their business advisers.'30'

• Knowledge on Ecopreneurship Concept

"A business in which its process consists of environment sustainability, environmental balance, and/or produce eco-friendly products." Family Business 1:1 (definition)

"To maintain the stability of environment and does not endanger people's health, in particular." Family Business 5:2 (aims)

"It can contribute to maintain the healthiness of the environment and promote back to nature program." Family Business 4:3


"People's environmental awareness still needs to be socialized and the price of organic products is still expensive and exclusive." Family Business 4:4 (disadvantages)

"There is still lack of knowledge and socialization on environmental regulations issued by the Government." Family Business 2:5 (regulation)

"Handy craft made out of waste." Family Business 3:6 (examples)

"Business actors in Indonesia are still unaware of the environmental issues." Family Business 2:7 (current trend)

• Implementation, Future Plan, and Barriers of Ecopreneurship

"I have implemented eco-friendly business by differentiating organic and inorganic wastes which can be recycled." Family Business 2:1,2 (implementation and example)

"I intended to make use of renewable natural resources such as solar system for the production process." Family Business 1:3 (future plan)

"More support from the society including consumer are needed and lack of information on the concept of ecopreneurship has been the main barrier." Family Business 2:4 (barriers)

"The prospect of eco-friendly business in the future will be excellent if the Government can fully support the process." Family Business 3:5 (future prospect)

Figure 1. Selected Examples of Respondents' Answers on Items of Questions Addressed

6.2. Understanding of Ecopreneurship Concept

Being asked about the concept of ecopreneurship, three out of five respondents answered quite similarly. They said that an eco-friendly business is a business which use green values as their core values, implement green actions such as selling organic products and recycling waste, and pay attention to the sustainability of the environment (see Figure 1 for the selected examples of each items). Ivanko and Kivirist (2008) argue that "Ecopreneurs go beyond organic, beyond compliance to laws and regulations (or redefine them), beyond consumerism, beyond minimum wages and beyond the free market economy to conduct business".'16' In terms of the aims of ecopreneurship, most of them believed that ecopreneurial behavior is to maintain the sustainability of the environment and balance of the ecosystem. In terms of the advantages of ecopreneurship, three of them believed that it can support the environment preservation program and maintain balance in the environment. The existing paradigm of business operation can be shifted by the new concept of

ecopreneurship.[19] Therefore, the role of an ecopreneur is very powerful to motivate and spread the idea of green initiatives. Besides, in terms of its disadvantages, many believed that the idea is still unrecognized by the people especially entrepreneurs or business actors. This supported the argument that limited number of research exists which focused on the environment and small firms in general.[19] Whereas ecopreneurship has been a trending topic since several years ago, Indonesia is still working on the understanding of ecopreneurship. As the evidence, it is found that only one respondent had known the information on ecopreneurship from seminars or conferences, while others got it from newspapers, magazines, internet, and television. In terms of the regulation regarding ecopreneurship, three of them agreed that the existing regulation is still weak and lack of socialization which resulted in lack of understanding. Kirkwood and Walton (2010) suggested that "the country context in terms of its reputation for being clean and green may also make ecopreneurship a more viable option than in other countries".[19] The strict environmental legislation constitutes a stimulus for development and the implementation of new cleaner technologies.[24] About the trend of ecopreneurship in Indonesia, more respondents said that it has been implemented by few business owners but the others said the idea was still difficult to be applied. Possibly, this is because green entrepreneurship constitutes that kind of economic activity which sets the environmental and natural resources protection to the core of its strategy[24] while Indonesian entrepreneurs only focus on profit-orientation. Referring to the results above, it is assumed that most of the respondents' knowledge on ecopreneurship concept was quite good although some had no idea at all regarding the concept offered. This was probably because they were mostly well-educated where green initiatives were often talked about.

6.3. Future Plan and Barriers of Ecopreneurship

Regarding their plan to implement or expand green initiatives in their business, four out of five said yes, they want to do it. Two of them agreed that the reason is to be friendlier with the environment, one would like to exploit renewable energy such as using solar system for the operational of his business and another is planning to recycle more of the waste their producing at the moment. Huang, Ding, and Kao (2009) argue that "Technical innovation contributes to the improvement and modification of product/service development and manufacturing technology while administrative innovation directly affects managerial activities and indirectly influences the design of organization administrative processes".[15] Green initiatives can be used for products, technology, organization, process, and others. In terms of its prospect in the future, most of the respondents saw it positively and believed that it will become more highly developed and will be a good prospect although two of them argued that support from the Government will boost the popularity of this innovation. With the existence of SMEs which represents about 95% of all private sector enterprises in most countries[29], their collective collaboration will be huge.[1] Above all the good prospect of ecopreneurship in Indonesia, there were also some serious barriers faced. Concluding from the respondents answers, there were three main barriers of ecopreneurship assumed which are lack of information and socialization, expensive in price and costs, and unclear regulation. This was in line with Chapple, Kroll, and Montero (2010)[7] theory of barriers of environmental change where capital costs, information and technical knowledge, also regulatory constraints[27] were categorized as the industry barriers. However, it was slightly different with Gerlach (2003) who argued that barriers of sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation were barriers of willingness and barriers of capacity.[12] Willingness is more to a personal preference while barriers of capacity can include lack of technical knowledge. It is believed that despite all the barriers faced above, these barriers can still be overcome. Some of the examples are by giving benefits for those who were being supportive and serious consequences for those who refuse to put forward their resistance; on the other hand, experts can be hired to help the actor to overcome serious problems and overcome barriers of capacity.[12] Besides, having an open mindset and willingness to

innovate will obviously result in their business competitive advantages and sustainability. As Gerlach (2003) believed that "the innovation barriers are personified by human individuals who lack either the willingness or the capacity to innovate."'12'

7. Conclusion, Limitation, and Further Research

To conclude, the condition of current Indonesian family businesses are profit-oriented rather than environmental friendly-oriented. Some had implemented green innovation and their understanding on ecopreneurship was quite surprising although still in low level of knowledge as they were not be able to explore more examples of eco-friendly initiatives. Their decision in adopting green values were more or less determined by their family values that they adopt in their business. They are willing to implement or expand their green initiatives in the business but some barriers needs to be overcome first before adopting the innovation. Moreover, unclear regulatory system gives more challenges in applying the idea of ecopreneurship.

It is suggested that the Government and practitioners could give more socialization on the issue and provide attractive incentives for those who were willing to support the program. As for the academicians, more researches on ecopreneurship especially in micro and small enterprises like family businesses are needed. This was due to the huge number of family business owners in Indonesia categorized as micro and small enterprise. In-depth studies on their motivations, the relationship between eco-friendly behaviour adopted in daily lives and the impact in their business, also the role of advisers in deciding to adopt or not to adopt ecopreneurial behavior in business are encouraged to be studied.

The limitation of this research was that it only used five samples which may made the results bias. Therefore, the results of this study cannot be generalized. Larger samples from all over Indonesia will obviously increase the level of reliability and generalization.


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