COLLABORATION COMPETENCIES AND GREEN BUSINESS MINDSET
There is increased international pressure to develop sustainable and circular businesses. This raises the question of entrepreneurs’ green awareness and the ability to adopt green values in their business and management practices. While this has become a hot topic on the agenda of policymakers and researchers, there is a critically low level of green awareness among entrepreneurs. This highlights the need to explore how to better foster the development of a green business mindset among entrepreneurs.
Collaboration with multiple stakeholders is currently promoted as an essential resource for companies to create a positive environmental impact and circular value. However, entrepreneurs do not recognise the advantages of collaboration, but instead face growing stakeholder green pressure.
Collaboration competence has been recognised as one of the essential elements of the green business mindset. The awareness of green values and the importance of collaboration in this context needs to be developed at school to provide theoretical knowledge and promote green skills.
This study aimed to investigate the understanding of teachers and academic staff about the green business mindset and to assess their perception of the importance of collaboration competencies within the green business mindset.
Research questions: 1) What are the main competencies comprising the green business mindset model and the status quo of the collaboration within this model; 2) How do teachers and academic staff perceive the importance of collaboration in developing the green business mindset?
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The systematic literature analysis, content analysis and clustering of the co-occurrence of keywords and concepts were used for the research. The empirical study reflects the situation in Latvia, and accordingly, the academic staff as well as teachers from Latvia were surveyed. Interviews of experts were conducted. The descriptive analyses synthesised the research results and described the main implications and further research gaps.
The green business model encounters the development of critical thinking, creativity, initiative and leadership, reflection, sharing and collaboration, environmental concerns and the attitude towards green values. The research results reveal the increased necessity to promote green awareness among youth, entrepreneurs, families and teachers. The academic staff rather have an overall understanding of green business, but they lack detailed green knowledge. Changing the behaviour and attitudes towards environmentally friendly business is considered most important, but collaboration is less critical.
Latvian entrepreneurs do not recognise the benefits and positive impact of green business practices. Changing customer values and global trends of sustainable transition will foster green business practices. Therefore, it is essential to develop knowledge of the circular and green business and stimulate behavioural changes of entrepreneurs to accept and follow environmentally friendly values. Previous studies prove the vital and integral role of collaboration with and for multiple stakeholders in creating positive environmental impacts. Such stakeholder collaboration includes various managerial tasks - the establishment of the relationship, value mapping and standard value orientation, regular communication, involvement and engagement, sharing and co-creation, and requiring appropriate competencies.
Collaboration with multiple stakeholders is a cross-cutting issue that should be reflected horizontally in different study courses, not just in a specific environmental or ecological curriculum. However, the entrepreneurship and management study programmes should include stakeholder collaboration topics as one of the managerial practices.
This study describes the green business mindset model and its multi-dimensional nature, including knowledge and skills related to entrepreneurship, sustainability, ecology, and green education on the one hand, and emotional intelligence, green values and attitudes on the other. This research reveals the shorthand situation of Latvia. The green business mindset model envisages several levels of development and assessment – raising awareness, acquiring knowledge, changing attitudes and values, changing behaviour, and initiating green actions. The academic staff and teachers consider that, in Latvia, besides green business knowledge, the emotional, intuitive and spiritual intelligence, self-awareness and self-confidence encompassing green values are essential, and should be developed.