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Effective corporate sustainabilitypractices in private equity organizations: A study on two fund managers and two portfolio companies in the Swedish education sector
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Industrial Management.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The popularity of private equity investments has increased during the past decades. The   demand for sustainable investment practices has been particularly significant. This study aimed to investigate how private equity fund managers and portfolio companies should  organize to ensure effective corporate sustainability practices in their organizations.

Data collection was conducted during 2013 through 10 external private equity thought  leaders in a grounded theory inspired field study and through 5 Swedish private equity professionals (covering 2 portfolio companies and 2 private equity funds) in a cross case study. By interviewing both fund managers and portfolio companies it was possible to study the same research topic from multiple perspectives. By studying two very similar case objects in the cross case study, key organizational similarities and differences were established.

New original theory on organizational success factors was developed through the grounded  theory-inspired field  study. This  framework  was  applied  and refined through  the  cross case study, resulting in a maturity framework for sustainability practices within private equity organizations.

The research suggested that the way fund manager and portfolio company are organized   and where decisions on sustainability initiatives are made influence what type of sustainability initiatives are pursued by the organizations.

The main academic contribution of this thesis is the developed maturity framework. The framework suggested that mature sustainability practices require the relationship between fund manager and portfolio company to be proximate, frequent, integrated, transferable and  supportive, with initiatives being material and quantifiable. It was suggested that the ability for private equity organizations to benefit from corporate sustainability initiatives depends on the maturity level for these dimensions. Future research is suggested.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 103 p.
Keyword [en]
Corporate sustainability, private equity organization, fund manager, portfolio company, maturity framework
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-160942OAI: diva2:792747
Available from: 2015-03-12 Created: 2015-03-05 Last updated: 2015-03-12Bibliographically approved

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