Further, family business research has found collaborative innovation to be an effective way to overcome innovation barriers (Feranita, Kotlar & De Massis, 2017), which is a part of SBMI. Increasingly, studies on the sociology of rural life, family farms, and farm entrepreneurship appear in the Scandinavian sustainability and entrepreneurship literature (e.g., Gaddefors & Anderson, 2017; McElwee, 2008; Tell et al., 2016; Vik & McElwee, 2011; Vesala & Vesala, 2010).
The emergent field of sustainable entrepreneurship had begun to address advanced strategies for sustainable development, such as SBMI (e.g., Provasnek, Schmid, Geissler & Steiner, 2017), and emphasize the importance of the long-term perspective when addressing sustainability (Acs et al., 2012; Shepherd & Patzelt, 2011; Stubbs, 2017).
However, SBMI research, which emerged in the mid-1990s with e.g., Elkington (1997) stressing the importance of all businesses needing to help society achieve the three inter-linked goals of economic prosperity, environmental protection and social equity, has increased significantly in the last decade (Bocken, Short, Rana & Evans, 2014; Boons & Ludeke-Freund, 2013; Teece, 2010; Upward & Jones, 2015), and research about SBMs is suggested to be both multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary when developed as an integrative field (Ludeke-Freund & Dembek, 2017).
BMI for sustainability (i.e., SBMI) highlights the importance of intentional choices and changes in philosophy, values, products, processes, and methods.
One way to categorize barriers to SBMI is to divide them into internal and external barriers.
Another way to categorize barriers to SBMI is to divide them into cultural and structural barriers.
The rural context for SMEs can create barriers to SBMI because of the pressure of social norms and local values (Jack & Anderson, 2002).
Semi-structured interviews with six agricultural farm owners/managers were conducted for 3-4 hours each, aiming to 1) learn how the entrepreneurs had developed their present BMs (and planned their future), 2) understand the entrepreneurs' ideas about sustainability and barriers to SBMI. Swedish advisory groups recommended three of the farms for the study.
Because the entrepreneurs had previously developed BMs, it seemed probable that they had the ability and the willingness to innovate their BMs (Chesbrough, 2007, 2010), and that they could describe encountered barriers to SBMI and the efforts they had (or had not) taken to overcome them.
Barriers to SBMI were identified and categorized as concepts, themes, and aggregated dimensions (Gioia et al., 2012).
After the initial stages of the analysis, a framework about barriers to SBMI (e.g., Laukkanen & Patala, 2014; Sandberg & Aarikka-Stenroos, 2014), family business research (Maloni et al., 2017), and cognition research (Chesbrough, 2010; Shepherd, 2015) were considered in tandem with the data to analyze what barriers could be explained with existing framework and to find what barriers that did not fit into existing theory.
However, those were insufficient for analysis of the barriers to SBMI in the agricultural context (Pindado & Sanchez, 2017), a third aggregate dimension was needed, and hence theory was developed with the addition of contextual barriers.