New Zealand & Australia: A New Zealand and Australian Overview of Ethics and Sustainability in SMEs

  • Eva CollinsEmail author
  • Carolyn DickieEmail author
  • Paull Weber
Part of the The International Society of Business, Economics, and Ethics Book Series book series (ISBEE, volume 2)


There is a dearth of research on ethics and sustainability related to SMEs in New Zealand and Australia. This paper begins by giving a definition of SMEs in New Zealand and Australia, which both differ somewhat from international definitions. The role of SMEs in New Zealand and Australian society is discussed and a description of one study in each country covering SMEs and sustainability is presented. Both studies found that owner-managers undertake a number of triple bottom line activities, without overtly identifying these actions as sustainable practice. At the same time, both studies showed that an over-riding focus on the financial bottom-line may be a significant barrier to SMEs adopting further sustainability practices. The paper concludes with a call for additional research in the area of ethical and sustainable business practice in SMEs in Australia and New Zealand, identifying some promising areas of future investigation.


SMEs New Zealand Australia Ethics Sustainability 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Waikato Management SchoolHamiltonNew Zealand
  2. 2.Curtin University of Technology, School of ManagementPerthWestern Australia

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