Degrowth: A viable business model

Margot Vandevoort
De scriptie behandelt of het voor een bedrijf actief in de huidige bedrijfscontext eveneens haalbaar zou zijn te opereren in een degrowth-omgeving. Namelijk een omgeving waar voor het eerst niet langer wordt gestreefd naar economische groei.

Degrowth, uiteindelijk toch een simple utopie?

Degrowth, uiteindelijk toch een simple utopie?

 

Image removed.Misschien niet voor iedereen een dagdagelijkse gedachte, desalniettemin door iedereen geweten, is het feit dat onze economie op zijn grenzen stoot. De mensheid heeft het intussen zo ver geschopt dat we vier van de negen ‘planetary bounderies’ overschrijden. Bovendien, zo mogelijks nog erger, bestaat er tot op heden geen makkelijke terugweg meer. Als resultaat van deze vaststelling ontstonden reeds tal van nieuwe ideen over onze wereld, mensheid en economie. Tot deze groep behoort de economische denkstroom “degrowth”. Deze gaat ervan uit dat de economie zijn grenzen heeft overschreden en bovenal, dat de economische groei die we blindelings natreven niet langer leidt tot additionele welvaart. Als resultaat wordt door enkele academici dan ook voorgesteld de huidige economische activiteit weer te laten krimpen tot ‘redelijke’ nieveaus’s om ze vervolgens constant te houden. Deze economische beweging wil aldus het hele economische denkpatroon dat onze geschiedenis typeert over boord gooien om plaats te maken voor een nieuw paradigma.

 

De scriptie “Degrowth: A viable business model?” brengt dit onderwerp in relatie tot de reële wereld. Degrowth wordt namelijk enorm veel tussen academici onderzocht alsook wordt bediscussieerd hoe een post-growth economie er zou moeten uitzien (hoe deze utopie tot leven komt als je wil). Echter, niemand kan het idee concretiseren. Iets wat uiterst noodzakelijk is als je een volledige samenleving wil hervormen. Deze scriptie wil net aan die nood beantwoorden.

 

Degrowth in een bedrijf?

Image removed.Daarom werd onderzocht of een dergelijke post-growth economie een haalbare omgeving kan zijn voor een bedrijf. Immers, hoe ver we de economie ook hervormen willen, bedrijven zullen de hoekstenen van ons economisch denken blijven. Concreet houdt dit in dat de scriptie criteria opbouwt voor wat degrowth inhoudt. Handbare criteria die omschrijven aan welke eisen een bedrijf in deze context idealiter moet voldoen en welke doelen het moet nastreven. De criteria zijn, omwille van het puur theoretische karakter van het degrowth-idee, afgeleid uit de literatuur. De bestaande papers omtrent het thema vormden met andere woorden de basis voor het afleiden van een aantal criteria die een bedrijf als ‘degrowth-bedrijf’ zouden moeten definiëren. Als resultaat werden criteria als het streven naar ‘sufficiency’ bekomen. Deze criteria zijn dan ook polyvalent inzetbaar voor verder onderzoek. Vervolgens werd een panel van zes bedrijven samengesteld. Deze bedrijven zijn geselecteerd op basis van hun extraordinaire aanpak op vlak van ecologische en ethische aspecten van ondernemen, alsook hun alternatieve visie op het winstbejag. Als resultaat werd een groep van zes allesbehalve doorsnee bedrijven samengesteld die vervolgens getoetst worden aan de hand van de opgestelde criteria uit de literatuur. Deze test werd voornamelijk uitgevoerd om te onderzoeken of het voor een commercieel bedrijf haalbaar zou zijn te opereren in een degrowth-context, namelijk de onderzoeksvraag van deze scriptie.

 

Wat dan?

Uit dit onderzoek bleek dat bijvoorbeeld het nakomen van sufficiency als bedrijfsdoel een struikelblok blijkt te zijn, alsook het merendeel van de andere criteria. De scriptie ontluikt dan ook, als allereerste in diens onderzoeksdomein, dat het degrowth-idee (zoals het momenteel naar voren geschoven wordt) niet haalbaar is. Een uiterst interessante bevinding voor wie verder wil denken en bouwen op literatuur in deze context. En bovenal een resultaat dat theoretische ontwikkelingen binnen deze context ongetwijfeld dwingt tot bijsturen. Geloven we nog langer in de waarde van deze degrowth-economie?

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Universiteit of Hogeschool
Business Economics- main subject corporate finance
Publicatiejaar
2018
Promotor(en)
Brent Bleys
Kernwoorden