Mediathek

At present, little is known about the corporate characteristics that support a socio-economic development towards degrowth. Addressing this research gap, we conducted interviews with companies which have joined the Economy for the Common Good, a social movement which identifies the common good as the purpose of economic activity. Our analysis was guided by Latouche’s (2009) eight ‘R’s which, he claims, should trigger a transformation towards degrowth: re-evaluate, reconceptualize, restructure, redistribute, relocalize, reduce, re-use and recycle. Among the companies we studied, we observed a change in values in line with Latouche’s claim. In their management practices, the companies are guided by values such as fairness, cooperation, diversity, independence, democracy, transparency, and ecological sustainability. This is exemplified by democratic ownership and decision-making structures, cooperative trade relations, a preference for local suppliers and the redistribution of surpluses. Furthermore, for these companies, profits are of reduced significance as an indicator of success. Nevertheless, some companies in our sample do still consider further company growth to be necessary. But, as the limitation of the company’s size is just one possible way in which a company can contribute to an overall reduction in economic growth, the companies bear due to their compliance with Latouche´s strategies the potential to contribute to a societal transition towards degrowth.