Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 154, Issue 3, pp 813–827 | Cite as

Greening Remote SMEs: The Case of Small Regional Airports

  • Olivier BoiralEmail author
  • Mehran Ebrahimi
  • Kerstin Kuyken
  • David Talbot
Original Paper


The objective of this paper is to explore, through a qualitative study of small regional airports, how sustainability issues are taken into account in remote small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Based on 42 semi-structured interviews conducted with managers of small regional Canadian airports and experts in this area, this study shows the quasi-absence of specific measures for sustainability, despite the seriousness of environmental issues, which tend to be subordinated to economic priorities and operational activities. The paper contributes to the literature on sustainability in SMEs by focusing on passive organizations located in remote areas and the complex reasons underlying their lack or absence of environmental commitment. The paper sheds more light on the essential role of stakeholders in providing the resources and skills necessary for the development of sustainability initiatives in passive SMEs. The study’s managerial contributions and implications for stakeholders are also discussed.


Sustainability Air transport Remote SMEs Resource theory Stakeholder theory 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olivier Boiral
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mehran Ebrahimi
    • 2
  • Kerstin Kuyken
    • 2
  • David Talbot
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Management, Faculty of Business AdministrationPavillon Palasis-PrinceQuebecCanada
  2. 2.Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)MontrealCanada
  3. 3.École nationale d’administration publique (ENAP)QuebecCanada
  4. 4.KEDGE Business SchoolTalenceFrance

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