The impact of coercive pressures on sustainability practices of small business in South Africa

15 Oct 2019

The study sought to examine the role that coercive isomorphic pressures play in the sustainable development practices by small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The survey research approach was utilised in the research through 222 self-administered questionnaires distributed to SME owners and managers. The structural equation modelling (SEM) method was utilised to analyse the data through the Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) method in Amos Version 24 software. Major findings in this study are that coercive isomorphic pressures have a significant impact on all the three dimensions of sustainable development which are economic, environmental and social. The implications are that government, environmental pressure groups and other stakeholders need to take into consideration the coercive pressures such as laws and regulations in pressuring small businesses to enhance sustainability practices. The research contributes by unearthing the extent to which coercive pressures impact the behaviour and practices of SMEs in sustainability practices. The study indicates that eventually small firms are expected to behave the same when it comes to adopting sustainability practices due to coercive isomorphism. The findings of this study further contribute toward understanding the concept of sustainable development in practice and theory. Keywords: coercive isomorphism; sustainable development; structural equation modelling; SMEs; South Africa