Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 110, Issue 3, pp 345–354 | Cite as

Collaborative Enterprise and Sustainability: The Case of Slow Food

  • Antonio Tencati
  • Laszlo Zsolnai


The current and prevailing paradigm of intensive agricultural production is a straightforward example of the mainstream way of doing business. Mainstream enterprises are based on a negativistic view of human nature that leads to counter-productive and unsustainable behaviours producing negative impact for society and the natural environment. If we want to change the course, then different players are needed, which can flourish thanks to their capacity to serve others and creating values for all the participants in the network in which they are embedded. In the article, through the analysis of the Slow Food movement and the use of recent theoretical and empirical contributions in behavioural sciences and psychology, we support the collaborative enterprise model as an alternative to the still prevailing, mainstream business models. Evidence shows that caring and responsible efforts of economic agents are acknowledged and reciprocated even in highly competitive markets.


Collaborative enterprise Local community Mainstream enterprise Multiple bottom line Slow Food Sustainable agriculture 



Laszlo Zsolnai’s contribution to this paper was developed as part of the research project of the Corvinus University of Budapest “Társadalmi Megújulás Operatív Program” TÁMOP-4-2.1.B-09/1/KMR-2010-0005.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CReSV, Center for Research on Sustainability and ValueUniversità BocconiMilanItaly
  2. 2.Business Ethics CenterCorvinus University of BudapestBudapestHungary

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