Economic, organizational, and environmental capabilities for business sustainability competence: Findings from case studies in the fashion business

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Business sustainability has received considerable attention in academia and industry. Accordingly, we use a multiple-case design to study the outcomes of business sustainability capability implementation. Using a two-phase data collection approach and resource-based view, we developed a conceptual model to illustrate the importance of business sustainability capability and business sustainability competence and their influence on firm performance. On the bases of the results from a case analysis of three Fortune 500 corporations in the fashion and textile industries, we show how three business sustainability capabilities (i.e., organizational, environmental, and economic competencies) affect business sustainability competence and consequently firm performance. Using in-depth case studies, we develop a set of propositions on how business sustainability competence associates with firm performance. This study was conducted over three years and demonstrates the importance of business sustainability capabilities by confirming the impact of economic competence in the context of market-driven competence and innovation, organizational competence in the context of managerial competence and social well-being, and environmental competence in the context of application of the five Rs (i.e., re-imagine, redesign, reuse, recycle, and reduce). This study thus provides valuable insights into how business sustainability capability and business sustainability competence enhance firm performance in the global fashion business.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-471
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Business Research
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Business sustainability capabilities
  • Business sustainability competence
  • Case study
  • Fashion business
  • Firm performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing

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