Sustainability, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship
Andrea Larson, University of Virginia
Pub Date: 2011
ISBN 13: 978-1-4533141-2-8
Publisher: Saylor Foundation
Conditions of Use
A very comprehensive book on the subject of sustainability and entrepreneurship. The content is organized well toward this end and is displayed well read more
A very comprehensive book on the subject of sustainability and entrepreneurship. The content is organized well toward this end and is displayed well within the table of contents, but there is no glossary or index to help students and teachers identify areas of correlation within the text. This is perhaps the largest flaw of the book.
Very accurate book and well researched. The content shows a detailed eye for content, but at times can be sterile in its writing, lacking a warmth and connection to the topic that students identify more strongly with.
This book has the potential to live for a long time. Its organization makes it very easy for changes and additions to be added without jeopardizing the flow and structure of the book. There is no reason to believe this book could not be around for many editions.
The writing is clear, but it is not a highly readable text. While the content is strong and well-organized, the style of writing lends itself more to upper level classes or electives that are highly focused. Entry level courses or surveys may find the prose a bit unaccessible for quick reads of background knowledge.
A highly consistent text, the tone and framework is cohesive and lends itself to a clarity through framework.
The structure of the book allows for multiple uses and reconfigurations within a class solely devoted to the specificity of this topic, but also in less focused classes on creative economy and entrepreneurship. Each section outlines what is to be learned so it also is much easier for an instructor to quickly find applicable areas of text for class use.
The organization is logical and easily understood. Each sections flows easily together with the previous and following sections. The book works well as a comprehensive textbook, but also as sections that can be pulled apart and incorporated into larger and deeper discussions of entrepreneurship.
The interface is highly user-friendly and digestible. There is a lack in the area of images or charts. With some of the topics, a visual representation of ideas would be an added value, but it does not detract from the function or information of the overall text.
There are no grammatical errors and is well written throughout.
This is a highly relevant text for today's discussions of creative economy, entrepreneurship and social design. Concerns with sustainability loom large within these fields and the historical backing of this text help place them in a solid framework of understanding.
A solid textbook with good focus.
The author does cover many of the important topics in entrepreneurship, sustainability, and innovation but the way that the topics are organized seem read more
The author does cover many of the important topics in entrepreneurship, sustainability, and innovation but the way that the topics are organized seem limiting. Sustainability works because it is pliable. Entrepreneurship, Sustainability and Innovation need to be taught in a way that students can see a very bricologe approach to solving problems. This book covers well limited topics in what is perceived to be most important in sustainability. The centering on the environment is against the balance promoted in sustainable entrepreneurship. I would use this a supplement to other readings but not as the main reading. Also I do not see a index and glossary in the book. There are more topics is sustainability besides the environment and health care. The organization limits to the thinking of entrepreneurship students who need to think more broadly about the problems related to sustainability that will impact their own communities.
Yes for the topics covered the book was accurate and well cited. There are a few assumptions made about how some experts like economist feel that should be better cited but outside of that the book seems accurate. There is a little bias in the topics chosen and the advocacy of chosen words but you sometimes to see that in environmentally positioned readings.
The information is limited but relevant and the principles are presented in a way where updates will not be needed in the near future, and required updates will be easy to make although I believe that the topics covered will have the potential date the materials but this is for the reason listed in response one.
The book was written with clarity and in the cases where jargon was used the author explains with in paragraph definitions. I would have liked those definitions to have been summed up at the end of the book and index for easy searching but with in the chapters the author writes in a way that is easily understood by the readers.
Yes, there are no obvious indications that the book is internally inconsistent in terms of terns used and framework,
Yes the text is written in a modular format which is why even though I would not assign as a primary text I could use a supplemental reading. So the modular nature of the book is every helpful.
The topics could have been organized better by not going into limited areas of sustainability, entrepreneurship and innovation. I like the discussion on Innovation but I do not like the final chapters where the limited specific areas where pulled out and focused on. The book should have been written more from the level of the entrepreneurship process and how entrepreneurship and innovation addresses multiple sustainability topics.
Interface was really not an issue for the book.
The grammar is fine.
The book is neutral in terms of cultural relevance. There is no concerns about its offensiveness but the text lacks a clearly worldwide view. There is so much on multicultural/ multi-country work in sustainable entrepreneurship and environmental entrepreneurship I had hope to see more diversity in the examples and analysis.
Overall the book would be good as a supplemental reading on a topic where the professor wanted good reading on the environmental part of sustainability. I believe the text is limiting in terms teaching more broadly about sustainable entrepreneurship topics.
The book is very thorough, has great resources, references, case studies,fresh, recent examples and indices. I do think it needs a little better read more
The book is very thorough, has great resources, references, case studies,fresh, recent examples and indices. I do think it needs a little better title or tagline, because I wasn't expecting a book about the environmental revolution. I was expecting a business text with models and case studies about business and less of an environmental angle. My comment with respect to the rating of the book's comprehensiveness is related to a book about environmental sustainably and not with respect to a business book about innovation and entrepreneurial efforts.
To the best of my knowledge, this is very well researched and resourced, accurate and unbiased.
Content is up-to-date and contains excellent examples and links. I believe those links and the resources cited will be easily updated and lead the reader to other up-to-date sources. Well done!
The first two chapters (history and sustainability) are a bit formal but well written and understandable with lots of links "backwards and forward" on the issues.Chapters 3 and 4 are very well written.
A big strength! The consistency of this book is one of the best features.
Excellent! I can see lots of opportunity to take the information from this and put it into "bite sized pieces" or put it into Blackboard or Softchalk platforms for interactive teaching, for example.
Yes. Again, I think the titles and chapters/subchapters could be titled to better reflect the content, however it's all there and in logical flow.
Nothing to report here.
Formal but I saw no errors or questionable language.
The book is very inclusive, relevant and up to date.
It's a solid book. It's not what I expected to review, so I do think the title should be changed or a subtitle included to specifically communicate that this is a book about environmental sustainability.
Sustainability, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship provides a satisfactorily comprehensive summary of information pertaining to the shared topic areas read more
Sustainability, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship provides a satisfactorily comprehensive summary of information pertaining to the shared topic areas of environmental sustainability and business development. The book presents a thorough, if appropriately concise, review of important milestones in environmental sustainability with emphasis on developments in the United States and Europe. Notably, the author includes both well-known events (such as the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring) as well as less widely remembered, yet still important, milestones—like the Get Oil Out (GOO) movement during Nixon’s presidency. The 564-page book also includes a thorough and comprehensively researched set of case studies in sustainable business innovation, including the invention of carbon negative concrete and the attainment of systemic net zero manufacturing. An insightful collection of methods ranging from molecular thinking to radical incrementalism make for a very informative resource. Key omissions include both a table of contents and index or glossary, which would be helpful—if not necessary—in guiding readers to various topic areas in the book. In its current format, readers launch immediately into the preface, without even so much as a title page or any indication of the book’s organization. If the text were structured predominantly around a timeline or an alphabetical list of topics, for example, this would be somewhat forgivable. However, the author arranges topics in a somewhat unpredictable (if justifiable) fashion, thus necessitating these guides for the reader.
As far as I can perceive, the content is accurate, free of errors, and written in an objective manner.
This book is up to date and will likely remain quite relevant for several years. However, given the profound changes surrounding approaches to sustainable design and economic development, I anticipate this book will require frequent updating in the future.
The book is written very clearly and should be accessible to a wide audience.
The text is internally consistent. However, there are redundancies when particular topics are repeated. Although the information addressed in these topics remains consistent, the flow of the text seems disjointed in such cases. The graphic language of the diagrams is inconsistent—which may be an outcome of a limited budget for illustrations.
The book is organized in a modular format, and I could imagine the content of individual readings being easily shared with students. However, the formatting does no justice to the book, which reads like a single, run-on Word document with few logical section or page breaks. Such a layout will greatly impede modularity.
The organization of the book seems logical enough, but the lack of a table of contents makes it difficult to understand without reading the whole book through. Chapters addressing important concerns like pollutants, materials, and energy seem clear. However, the organization of some subsections seems strange and interrupts flow. (For example, one section provides an in-depth case study of Calera’s business model, followed by a brief overview on biomimicry, which does not appear to relate strongly to this case study.) However, because the text is highly modular, such circumstances would be easily remedied with a small reorganization.
The book’s interface is its greatest weakness. It is the most expedient form of PDF document produced directly from a word processing program, and the only elements that appear to make it a book are page numbers and publisher’s name in the footer. Otherwise, navigation is quite difficult, and many section breaks, subsection breaks, image sizes and locations, and table references are awkward and inconsistent. Frequently, complex tables straddle multiple pages without repeated headers, and illustrations are sometimes poorly formatted, with awkwardly narrow columns of wrapping text with large amounts of blank space. It is indeed a shame that the publisher could not contribute even the smallest budget to a graphic designer for the purposes of developing a clear and legible layout. An ePub format would certainly be better, although I do hope that such an important book will also receive a graphic overhaul in PDF format.
The text contains no grammatical errors that I was able to detect.
I did not detect any culturally insensitive or offensive text in my reading, and the examples appear to be respectful of a diverse audience.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: History
- Chapter 2: Sustainability Innovation in Business
- Chapter 3: Framing Sustainability Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Chapter 4: Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Innovation Analysis
- Chapter 5: Energy and Climate
- Chapter 6: Clean Products and Health
- Chapter 7: Buildings
- Chapter 8: Biomaterials
About the Book
This book is suited for the Entrepreneurship or Innovation course with an emphasis on Sustainability or for a course devoted entirely to Sustainability.
What are the trends and forces underlying the changing character of the business-environment relationship? How they are creating significant entrepreneurial opportunities for individuals and companies? Around the world, the movement toward ”sustainable development“ has caused many firms to adopt policies and practices that reflect what is sometimes called a ”sustainable business“ or ”triple bottom line“ approach. ”Triple bottom line“ refers to the demonstration of strong performance across economic, social, and environmental indicators.
Those measures serve as indicators of fiduciary responsibility to a growing set of concerned investors and therefore can help ensure access to capital. They also enable innovators to lower costs, create strategic differentiation, reduce risk, and position themselves for competitive advantage over rivals less attuned to trends.
The deep roots of sustainability thinking are now evident in widespread and increasingly visible activities worldwide, and Sustainability, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship explores this evolution; its necessity, its implications and its progression.
About the Contributors
Andrea Larson, PhD, is an associate professor of business administration. She has served for more than twenty years on the faculty of the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia teaching in the MBA program and in executive education in the areas of entrepreneurship, strategy, ethics, innovation, and sustainable business. She currently teaches the required MBA elective for students concentrating in sustainability. Professor Larson has taught about entrepreneurship, innovation, and sustainability innovation by invitation at Stanford Graduate School of Business (2007 and 2010) and the Bainbridge Institute (MBA in sustainable business).
Larson’s Flat World Knowledge book, Sustainability, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, examines the wave of innovation spreading across the world today as entrepreneurial individuals and organizations incorporate concern for ecological, human health, social equity, and community prosperity into product design, operations, strategy, and supply chain management. Building on earlier research on economic development, entrepreneurial innovation, alliances, and network organizations, her current research, teaching, and curriculum development focus on innovation by companies engaged in sustainable business as a strategic and competitive advantage. Her research publications have appeared in journals including Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of Business Venturing, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Business Strategy and the Environment, and Interfaces. Her work has also appeared as chapters in edited volumes on sustainability and innovation, green chemistry, ethics, and entrepreneurship. She has produced more than fifty teaching materials (cases and background notes) on entrepreneurship and sustainability topics.
Larson was cofounder in 2002 of The Ingenuity Project, a multifaceted program to integrate theory and practice on entrepreneurship and innovation together with sustainable business practices and to encourage their use in management education, as well as corporations. Entrepreneurship theory and practice, green chemistry and engineering design, industrial ecology, and cradle-to-cradle design were illustrative of the core approaches. She has testified before Congress on green innovation as a national strategy and contributed to a National Research Council study of sustainability innovation in the chemical industry. Among her current projects are collaboration on an National Science Foundation green building technology innovation study, an interdisciplinary study of sustainable development in Panama, and collaborative work with the Reynolds Program on Social Entrepreneurship at New York University.
Prior to starting her academic career, Professor Larson was active in political work and nongovernmental organization research and lobbying, and she served in federal and state government environmental and product safety agencies, thus bringing a rich diversity of sector experience to her current work on private sector innovation. She holds a PhD from Harvard University.