Walter Wehrmeyer

Dr Walter Wehrmeyer

Reader in Environmental Business Management
+44 (0)1483 689075
04A AA 02
Tuesdays: 10am - 12 noon (email me if meeting should be virtual)


University roles and responsibilities

  • Chair of the Faculty Ethics Committee
  • Academic Integrity Officer
  • Chair the Board of Studies
  • Board of Examiners of MSc programmes for the Centre


    Research interests

    Research collaborations



    Gitanjali Nayar (2020)A framework for the sound management of chemicals. University of Surrey

    A wide variety of chemicals are used in the manufacture of components. Many of these chemicals are inherently hazardous and need to be managed in an effective manner to reduce costs, protect the environment, ensure health safety, enable compliance and sustain future manufacturing require-ments. Therefore, having a consistent approach to managing chemicals is necessary to enable effective, sustainable and the sound management of chemicals. This research focuses on downstream users of chemicals and proposes a framework for the sound management of chemicals. Amongst a wide range of global initiatives, the Strategic Approach to Interna-tional Chemicals Management (SAICM) provides a robust policy framework for achieving the sound management of chemicals. This research has cus-tomised the SAICM objectives of risk reduction, governance and knowledge management to meet the needs of downstream users of chemicals. In doing so, specific methodologies for assessing the quality of Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and conducting a downstream user chemical risk assessment were developed and embedded within a framework for achieving the sound man-agement of chemicals. The methodology for assessing the quality of SDS was tested on 200 SDS used in the aerospace industry and the results have been published in the Journal of Chemical Health and Safety, 2015. The methodology for conducting a downstream user chemical risk assessment was applied to a widely used metal working fluid. In comparison to existing chemical risk assessments, the proposed methodology delivered a robust and comprehensive risk review of environment, health and safety risks across the stages of receipt, storage, use and disposal of chemicals. The proposed framework is the first of its kind to address specific needs of downstream users of chemicals. It enables the sound management of chem-icals and sustainable development.

    Syeda Alina Husain, Walter Wehrmeyer, Catriona Reeby (2023)CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS FACILITATING THE PROPAGATION OF DEMONSTRATOR PROJECTS, In: Socialis Series in Social Science4pp. 31-44 Global Research & Development Services

    The idea and practice of Demonstrator Projects have been used increasingly over the last 20 years; however, the process of demonstration and the unique characteristics of these projects do not feature prominently in the literature. This paper aims to define Demonstrator Projects, investigate their nature, and explore what factors exist to support or hinder them to demonstrate and propagate their findings. It enhances this knowledge in two main analytical stages, based on the questionnaire survey of Demonstrator Projects. Firstly, a Principal Component Analysis is performed to identify critical factors that impact the success in demonstrating. Secondly, a cluster analysis is undertaken on the factors to classify Demonstrator Projects and to identify specific factors supporting or hindering their performance. The analysis emphasizes the importance of a clear communication plan that is sufficiently resourced and supported by the top management. The clusters developed generalities of behaviors to argue why some Demonstrator Projects are more successful than others. Implications for policymakers to shape opportunities for future Demonstrator Projects are then discussed in terms of managing the performance of Demonstrator Projects through tailored success evaluation strategies.

    JENNIFER LICAD HORN, WALTER Wehrmeyer (2020)Developing a Framework for Understanding the Personal Motivations of Sustainability Leaders, In: Journal of management for global sustainability8(2)

    This study explores the initial and sustaining motivations that drive leaders to pursue sustainability as a profession or vocation. Exploratory interviews were conducted with 16 sustainability leaders in the Philippines working in sectors ranging from corporate to social enterprise, NGO, and academia. Findings from thematic analysis reveal significant life experiences that drive initial motivation, how feedback sustains motivation, and the importance of self-awareness and positive psychological factors in starting and sustaining their work or advocacy. A framework for understanding motivations is developed therein, drawing on themes extracted from the interviews, Stern’s Value-Belief-Norm Theory, and Authentic and Transformational Leadership theories. Recommendations are given on how motivation can be instigated and sustained, namely, by cultivating hope and other positive psychological factors, integrating experiential learning to develop awareness, connectedness, and empathy, and creating social support and enabling environments. Further research to develop an instrument for measuring sustainability leadership motivation, one that can inform sustainability education facilitators of the effectiveness of their programs in inspiring participants to take action, is also recommended.

    Walter Wehrmeyer, Stéphanie Looser, Mara Del Baldo (2019)Intrinsic CSR and Competition Springer International Publishing

    This edited book is at the intersection between the discussion on family-owned business, the CSR agenda, and company competition in Europe. The authors contribute to the debates on corporate sustainable responsibility by arguing that formal management systems are not the one-size-fits-all solution they are typically presented to be. Exploring alternative interpretations of the profile environmental management activities have in SMEs, the book evaluates the way in which cultural and ethical values are embedded in European SMEs in order to drive and orientate CSR successfully without following the mainstream ‘systems’ approach. It addresses several values of thought within the CSR debate such as intrinsic CSR, the role of virtue ethics and moral theory in corporate culture, environmental sustainability and vision-driven CSR. Focusing on a European perspective, the book heuristically explores an alternative model for the integration of CSR, innovation dynamics and economic success driven by intrinsic values rather than extrinsic post-decision rationalisations.

    Stéphanie Looser, Walter Wehrmeyer, Seraina Mohr (2020)Synthesis: The Future of Innovation, CSR and (In-)Formal Management, In: Walter Claus Heinrich Wehrmeyer, Stéphanie Looser, Mara Del Baldo (eds.), Intrinsic CSR and Competitionpp. 367-380 Springer International Publishing

    This chapter provides a synthesis and conclusion over the book chapters. It does so by reporting on a content analysis of the book chapters and case studies published in this volume. It could be shown that intrinsic Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is rooted in the ethics of individuals, usually starting with the owner-manager, but permeated through culture across the organisation. In addition, these intrinsic motives are often tacit, difficult to espouse and somewhat separate from profit-maximising endeavours. However, their efficacy in achieving corporate success is proven—no reason was found why intrinsic motives and their enactment in CSR and business practices are an impediment to competitiveness, or to providing sufficient innovation dynamics towards persistent product and process development. What is observable is the specific coexistence of ethical motives and motivation with suitable business models, so where the 1970s Contingency Theory suggested internal organisational structures to be contingent with external factors, here it appears that business models shape around pre-existing ethical motives and value-based propositions. And as the interest in new business models, built on ethics, morale, intrinsic motivations implicit communication, has increased since the many financial and state crises over the last decade, the hope is that such legitimate practice may offer an alternative pathway towards genuine social responsibility of companies. The time for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to become genuine beacons of inspiration seems to have come.

    Stéphanie Looser, Philip Evans Clark, Walter Wehrmeyer (2020)Company Case Study 1: To (Crafts)Man Up—How Swiss SMEs Cope with CSR in Harsh Times, In: Intrinsic CSR and Competitionpp. 35-79 Springer International Publishing

    Many Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Switzerland have highly sophisticated Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agendas. In many cases, they are unintended, informal as they are coming from corporate cultures that nurture a “raison d’être” and a noble business purpose beyond profit-maximisation. Previous research aggregated this core logic to an overarching SME business model, L’EPOQuE, making Swiss SMEs, arguably, hidden CSR champions about social, economic, and environmental responsibilities. This model is borne by a set of key features: i.e., the process of work socialisation, soft assets, proximity and informality, agility, the nexus of company ownership and government, the focus on education, and long-range planning. By the methods of focus group discussion with seven SME owner-managers combined with case studies located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, this research looked at the impact of different financial crisis on the Swiss CSR business model. The results show surprisingly strongly, that there is no substantial leverage. The psychological and sociological tradition of stewardship and the SMEs’ emphasis on excellent craftsmanship help sustain morale and ethics despite economic downturns. As their business model evolves from CSR as “moral activity” it prevents the potential sacrifice of ethics due to financial scarcity. At the same time, it mirrors a highly competitive business approach that can be generalised to other unconventional, “non-standard” milieus where money might be short (e.g., in start-up companies). Considering the economic, political, and social competitiveness of Swiss SMEs and their relevance within CSR, this study demonstrates the power of the small business approach as it works detached from economic situations.

    Mathilde Brix Pedersen, Walter Wehrmeyer, Ivan Nygaard, Walter Claus Heinrich Wehrmeyer (2020)Commercial yet social: The practices and logics of bringing mini-grid electricity to rural villages in Kenya, In: Energy research & social science68101588 Elsevier Ltd

    Private mini-grid developers, which deliver power to rural communities in developing countries through for-profit business models, represent an alternative organisational model compared to traditional state-led, donor-led or community-driven models of rural electrification. However, as the ‘private model’ covers many different ways of doing business, this paper seeks to broaden our understanding of its complexities. This is done by using insights into organisational hybridity as a defining characteristic of organisations that have a dual mission consisting of social and economic aims and by applying the analytical concept of institutional logics. The paper explores how four different mini-grid firms in Kenya draw on both a commercial logic and a social welfare logic in their everyday operational activities in order to achieve their goals. By studying the practices, activities and sense-making of the four firms, as well as the effects of these practices in the targeted areas, the paper illustrates how some firms prioritise one logic over the other, while other firms blend the two logics in their work. The paper finds that firms using a blending approach seem to derive synergies from integrating the two logics into their work. However, more research is needed to improve understanding of this link and of the organisational drivers that underpin each approach.

    Raimondo Mancinelli, Walter Wehrmeyer, Jacquetta Lee, Hywel Woolf, Tim Embley, Kevin Reeves, Noemi Arena, Walter Claus Heinrich Wehrmeyer (2022)The product-market system approach to adopt life-cycle thinking in organisation management, In: E3S Web of Conferences349 EDP Sciences

    Pushed by public demand and regulations, the firms’ role in society is gradually changing from shareholder profit maximisation to societal shared value creation. Despite the positive market’s response in adopting sustainability as a business key driver, there is still a long way to go before companies can assess the full life-cycle impacts of their entire activities, products, and services regarding the triple bottom line. A gap remains in how businesses can set up sustainable products’ strategies within their wider business strategy and systematically replicate successes. Working together with an infrastructure company in the UK, we assessed how life-cycle thinking adoption could be pursued during management operations in the sustainability framework. It has emerged the necessity of a socio-technical system describing the life-cycle of products and services’ market proposition alongside the business model and business strategy concepts. We defined it as the product-market system as it aims to relate the life-cycle of product market proposition to the wider firms’ sustainability performances. It builds on LCT and multi Capitals approaches, and it should help firms address their role within the market and society they operate. Its use should help multi-product businesses to align their product strategies around established targets and values.

    Sapanna Laysiriroj, Walter Wehrmeyer (2020)Intergenerational differences of CSR activities in family-run businesses in eastern Thailand, In: Asian journal of sustainability and social responsibility5(1)2pp. 1-15 Springer Singapore

    This paper looks at differences and similarities in CSR between generations of family-run businesses in Thailand, especially their motivation, behaviour, targets, activities, and expectations towards CSR. It will be argued that family-run businesses in Thailand practise CSR informally, driven by a mentality of “giving back to society” and mostly influenced by religion and culture. Family-run businesses generally approach CSR differently from larger corporations. This paper also discusses differences of priorities between 1st and 2nd generation owners, with 1st generation FRBs tend to focus on survival and growth, while the 2nd generation on profit. Despite struggling to survive, 1st generation family-run businesses are typically engaged in CSR activities which influences the 2nd generation to follow suit.

    K Pediaditi, W Wehrmeyer, J Chenoweth (2006)Sustainability evaluation for brownfield redevelopment, In: Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Engineering Sustainability159(1)pp. 3-10

    Redevelopment of brownfield land has been identified as an essential component to the achievement of sustainable urban regeneration. However, in some cases, brownfield redevelopment has been characterised by a lack of long-term consideration of impacts, as well as the failure to holistically examine the environmental, economic and social issues, which form the basis of sustainability. It is therefore important to develop and implement a new approach that can be used to address and monitor sustainability throughout the life cycle of land-use, thus addressing the intergenerational principle of sustainable development. This paper describes a new Redevelopment Assessment Framework that will enable the use of sustainability indicators to monitor holistically the long-term sustainability of brownfield redevelopments. The framework's key characteristics are that it is dynamic in nature, allowing for sustainability monitoring through the land-use life cycle of a brownfield project, as well as being participatory and transparent as a process. The framework incorporates consideration of the risk perception and risk communication issues that are typical of brownfield projects. By design, the new framework is aimed at developing site-specific indicators within the overall context of the existing monitoring and planning processes that brownfield redevelopment projects are required to undergo.

    P Nualnoom, Walter Wehrmeyer, Stephen Morse (2017)Analyzing Household Decision Making on Oil Palm Cultivation in Thailand, In: Journal of Land Use Science11(5)pp. 560-578 Taylor & Francis

    This paper analyses the dynamics of land use via the perspectives, motivations and behaviours of local landowners‡. The dynamics are explored in the context of an oil palm based-biodiesel development in Thailand where the advent of oil palm has caused the loss of paddy areas. A sequential mixed-method strategy, including 10 in-depth interviews and 180 responses to a questionnaire survey, indicates that the likelihood of a landowner switching traditional land for oil palm cultivation is affected by a number of factors including age and education of the head of household, number of household farming labourers, amount and source of income, land size and land right. Moreover, the results indicate that success of switching land to oil palm cultivation was determined by factors influencing willingness and capacity to change. Willingness-related factors are relevant to outcome expectation and social networks and connections while capacity-related factors are relevant to finance, labour, capital, land rights and transportation.

    E Maleviti, Y Mulugetta, W Wehrmeyer (2012)Energy consumption and attitudes for the promotion of sustainability in buildings: The case of hotels, In: International Journal of Energy Sector Management6(2)pp. 213-227

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe the effect of attitudes in promoting sustainable operations in hotels. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate the interaction between the users' behaviour and the way energy is consumed in Greek hotels in a long-term period. Design/methodology/approach: In total, two scenarios are developed, using the Long Range Energy Alternative Planning software (LEAP). Each scenario exhibits different findings proposing significant, but easy to apply alterations to hotels. The first one is the Business as Usual (BaU) scenario, and it is developed based on the current trends in energy use in hotels. The second is the Policy scenario, which is developed based on the existing legislative framework, Greek and EU. Through interviews with open-ended questions, hoteliers' responses reveal their views and attitudes in energy initiatives, along with the level of information they have on the existing energy legislation - Greek and European - to reduce energy consumption in buildings. Findings: This research project, aims at identifying the hoteliers' views in applying energy efficiency measures in their facilities. The BaU scenario displays the current energy consumption in hotels, without policy interventions. The Policy scenario displays the effectiveness of each proposed measure in all services offered in hotels. This analysis provides recommendations in order to improve the current energy framework. Practical implications: This methodology provides the development of a model that combines the existing energy measures considering also the end-users' behaviour. It shows the areas that need to change in order to reduce energy consumption in the whole population of Greek hotels. It is a process that could be applied easily in other countries, not only in Greece. Originality/value: This paper is a generic research analysis. The data collection has been selected for the first time from the sample of hotels. This type of research has not been developed previously in Greek hotels, since attitudes, energy consumption and measures have not been combined previously, in order to promote sustainable operations in hotels. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

    S Looser, WCH Wehrmeyer (2015)Stakeholder mapping of CSR in Switzerland, In: Social Responsibility Journal11(4)pp. 780-830 Emerald Group Publishing Limited

    Purpose – This paper aims to investigate, using stakeholder map methodology, showing power, urgency, legitimacy and concerns of different actors, the current state of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Switzerland. Previous research on CSR in Europe has made few attempts to identify stakeholders and their contribution to this topic. Design/methodology/approach – To derive this map, publicly available documents were explored, augmented by 27 interviews with key stakeholders (consumers, media, government, trade unions, non-profit organisations [NPOs], banks, certifiers and consultants) and management of different companies (multinational enterprises [MNEs], small- and medium-sized enterprises [SMEs] and large national companies). Using MAXQDA, the quantified codes given for power, legitimacy and urgency were triangulated between self-reporting, external assessments and statements from publicly available documents and subsequently transferred into stakeholder priorities or, in other words, into positions in the map. Further, the codes given in the interviews for different CSR interests and the results from the document analysis were linked between stakeholders. The identified concerns and priorities were quantitatively analysed in regard to centrality and salience using VennMaker. Findings – The paper identified SMEs, MNEs and cooperating NPOs as being the most significant stakeholders, in that order. CSR is, therefore, not driven primarily by regulators, market pressure or customers. Further network parameters substantiated the importance of SMEs while following an unconventionally informal and idiosyncratic CSR approach. Hence, insights into these ethics-driven, unformalised business models that pursue broader responsibility based on trust, traditional values, regional anchors and the willingness to “give something back” were formed. Examples of this strong CSR habit include democratic decisions and abolished hierarchies, handshake instead of formal contracts and transparency in all respects (e.g. performance indicators, salaries and bonuses). Research limitations/implications – In total, 27 interviews as primary data that supplements publicly available documents are clearly only indicative. Practical implications – The research found an innovative, vibrant and practical CSR model that is emerging for reasons other than conventional CSR agendas that are supposed to evolve. In fact, the stakeholder map and the CSR practices may point at a very different role businesses have adopted in Switzerland. Such models offer a useful, heuristic evaluation of the contribution of formal management systems (e.g. as could be found in MNEs) in comparison to the unformalised SME business conduct. Originality/value – A rarely reported and astonishing feature of many of the very radical SME practices found in this study is that their link to commercial strategies was, in most cases, not seen. However, SMEs are neither the “poor relative” nor the abridged version of CSR, but are manifesting CSR as a Swiss set of values that fits the societal culture and the visionary goals of SME owners/managers and governs how a sustainably responsible company should behave. Hence, as a new stance and argument within CSR-related research, this paper concludes that “informal” does not mean “weak”. This paper covers a myriad of management fields, e.g. CSR as strategic tool in business ethics; stakeholder and network management; decision-making; and further theoretical frameworks, such as transaction cost and social capital theory. In other words, this research closes scientific gaps by at once applying quantitative as well as qualitative methods and by merging, for the first time, network methodology with CSR and stakeholder research

    JL Chenoweth, W Wehrmeyer (2006)Scenario development for 2050 for the Israeli/Palestinian water sector, In: Population and Environment27(3)pp. 245-261 SPRINGER

    Scenario analysis suggests that by 2050 the population of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza will grow from its current 10 million to between 14 and 28 million. The scenarios developed are compared to available water resources and assessed for their viability. With all scenarios, except very high population growth in the context of inadequate co-operation between Israel and Palestine, the water resource needs of the entire population can be met. The analysis suggests that water need not be an obstacle to peace or economic development in the region.

    S Looser, WCH Wehrmeyer (2016)Ethics of the firm, for the firm or in the firm? Purpose of extrinsic and intrinsic CSR in Switzerland, In: Social Responsibility Journal12(3)pp. 545-570

    Ethics of the firm, for the firm or in the firm? Purpose of extrinsic and intrinsic CSR in Switzerland Purpose – Despite the increased recognition and emphasis on corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a topic and highly formalised CSR control systems, numerous well-publicised problems and scandals often involving multinational enterprises (MNEs) continue to emerge. These companies are mostly extrinsically motivated in CSR. They operate with highly formalised CSR systems that, in many cases, miss the prevention of anti-social and illegal behaviour. This might reflect the failure of extrinsic CSR to integrate the ethical dimension and/or the failure of intrinsic CSR to formalise and thus benefit from economies of scale. Currently, the conviction is growing that if CSR is to have a meaningful impact, it should be a matter of intrinsic motives, morale and ethical values rather than a formalised management tool. This research aims to focus on a sample of small and large companies in Switzerland, aiming at a comparison of key motives for CSR related to actual CSR implementation, performance and company size. Design/methodology/approach – The study examined two groups: seven owner-managers of smalland medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and seven managers of MNEs. Each group met for two focus group discussions that were qualitatively and visually analysed using MAXQDA. Findings – The results show that CSR implementation in the examined Swiss SMEs is more related to moral commitment than to profit maximisation. These companies are often driven by soft assets, such as networks, by the nexus of mission and value set; by a system of initiatives and integrated behaviour; by proximity and informal, flat organisational structures; by the aspiration and ambition of craftsmanship or excellent service (instead of profit); by community involvement; by recruiting from the local community; by the willingness to grow slowly and steadily; by the avoidance of atomic markets; and finally, by the mental set up and sociological tradition of the stewardship concept. This contrasts with the extrinsically motivated approach of the MNEs under research. While MNEs follow their approach of “ethics for the firm that must pay”, the findings here identified potential transition cases of “ethics in the firm” and “ethics of the firm” within Swiss SMEs. This is consistent with others, resembling the need of this dichotomy to be revised. Research limitations/implications – The cross-sectorial approach limits the degree to which motives can clearly be attributed to actual CSR performance or company size. Practical implications – The results imply that policymakers, public institutions, scientific community, etc. should be careful when establishing systems that favour financial returns from CSR engagement, because, first, other research showed that a behaviour attributed to extrinsic motives is mostly perceived as dishonest and misleading, for instance, consumers. Second, extrinsic motivation might crowd out morale and paying lead actors for behaving altruistically or philanthropically might decline their intrinsic motivation. Notably, the crowding out of intrinsic motivation by extrinsic incentives is a phenomenon well-researched not only in regard to CSR but in various other areas linked to human behaviour. This has important implications for nearly every business operation, especially for mergers and acquisitions, as well as for the growth of businesses. Social implications – It seems unsuitable to support social goods in intrinsic CSR by the implementation of a system of financial incentives (or consequences). Thus, an economic cost-benefit is inappropriate where CSR needs an ethical stand. The difference between extrinsic and intrinsic CSR is very difficult to bridge – both have powerful incentives and drivers preventing a potential cross-over. Originality/value – In sum, this study showed that CSR is meaningful and justifiable even if it is not profitable in the first place or implemented in and managed through formalised systems. This leads to two conclusions: first, care should be taken when emphasising the extrinsic approach in relation to social goods and second, the cost of a possible mismatch in a climate of ethical principles might be substantial for societies’ moral inclination.

    J Chenoweth, W Wehrmeyer, C Lipchin, J Smith, T Gazit (2007)A comparison of environmental visions of university students in Israel and Palestine, In: FUTURES39(6)pp. 685-703 ELSEVIER SCI LTD
    Rupert Zierler, Walter Wehrmeyer, Richard Murphy (2017)The energy efficiency behaviour of individuals in large organisations: A case study of a major UK infrastructure operator, In: Energy Policy104pp. 38-49 Elsevier

    Energy consumption behaviours are gradually becoming better-understood. However, there is still a deficit in terms of knowledge of individuals’ energy-use behaviours in organisations, despite a variety of available theories. This paper addresses this need in three main stages, based on a survey among mid-level managers at a major infrastructure operator in Great Britain. Firstly, a principal components analysis is performed to identify key determinant constructs driving energy-efficient behaviours in organisations, revealing the importance of perceived benefit to the organisation and flexibility of existing performance goals and targets. Secondly, cluster analysis is undertaken, in an effort to identify differences in behavioural influences between demographic groups. These clusters highlight the heterogeneity of employee populations’ energy behaviours, demonstrating that assumptions cannot be made about these based on single responses to cross-industry surveys. Finally, a structural equation model of individuals’ energy use intentions and behaviours using the newly-identified constructs is developed, revealing some similarities with existing behavioural frameworks such as the Theory of Planned Behaviour (Ajzen, 1991). Implications for policymakers are then discussed, in terms of encouraging individual employees’ curtailment of energy consumption in organisations through tailored engagement programmes.

    K Pediaditi, W Wehrmeyer, K Burningham, CA Brebbia, A Brebbia, U Mander (2006)Evaluating brownfield redevelopment projects: a review of existing sustainability indicator tools and their adoption by the UK development industry, In: Brownfield Sites III: Prevention, Assessment, Rehabilitation and Development of Brownfield Sites94pp. 51-60
    S Looser, W Wehrmeyer (2015)An emerging template of CSR in Switzerland, In: Corporate Ownership and Control12(3 (con)pp. 541-558

    This paper investigates current Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices of Swiss Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) with the aim to aggregate an underlying SME business model as value driver of Swiss CSR. To analyse these patterns this study conducted 30 interviews. A two -step Delphi process challenged the results and enabled the aggregation and visualisation of – L’EPOQuE – as emerging template of CSR. Overall, there is a strong emphasis on ownership, or to be precise, ownership-within-tradition. Family/middle class capitalism and the political/historical background of Switzerland are deciding as well, whereas size and capacities astonishingly seem to matter less. This generated some testable hypothesis, e.g., on how the Swiss SME model will be received in particular settings to which it is “exported”. Further, Swiss SMEs turned out to be genuine “social enterprises” so that the relevance of “social business planning” needs to be questioned, certainly as a novel idea in Switzerland. Overall, this study challenges the primacy of formal management systems to support CSR in companies, especially SMEs, and addresses critical moments at which the nexus between small businesses, Swiss society, and the state might be adjusted.

    S Looser, WCH Wehrmeyer (2016)Swiss CSR-Driven Business Models – Extending the Mainstream or the Need for New Templates?, In: Corporate Ownership and Control13(4)pp. 130-141

    Many Swiss small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have highly sophisticated Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agendas embedded in corporate cultures that nurture a “raison d’être” far beyond formalisation. Previous research culminated in the characterisation of this core logic as “L’EPOQuE”, the overarching SME business model making Switzerland, arguably, a hidden champion in CSR. This paper explored by the method of a two-stage Delphi process the model’s consistency with criteria of conventional business models. It confirmed the core logic of L’EPOQuE and encouraged at the same time slight modifications with regard to nomenclature of sub-features resulting in L’EPOQuE 2.0. This heightened the power of this CSR-driven approach to be a new template for informal set-ups, and niches. It emerges from the difficulties some mainstream business models have to satisfy the needs of business at the nexus of culture and economic rationale.

    S Looser, WCH Wehrmeyer (2015)Varieties of Capitalism and Small Business CSR: A Comparative Overview, In: International Journal of Social, Behavioral, Educational, Economic and Management Engineering9(7)pp. 2145-2154 World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology

    Given the limited research on Small and Mediumsized Enterprises’ (SMEs) contribution to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and even scarcer research on Swiss SMEs, this paper helps to fill these gaps by enabling the identification of supranational SME parameters. Thus, the paper investigates the current state of SME practices in Switzerland and across 15 other countries. Combining the degree to which SMEs demonstrate an explicit (or business case) approach or see CSR as an implicit moral activity with the assessment of their attributes for “variety of capitalism” defines the framework of this comparative analysis. To outline Swiss small business CSR patterns in particular, 40 SME owner-managers were interviewed. A secondary data analysis of studies from different countries laid groundwork for this comparative overview of small business CSR. The paper identifies Swiss small business CSR as driven by norms, values, and by the aspiration to contribute to society, thus, as an implicit part of the day-to-day business. Similar to most Central European, Mediterranean, Nordic, and Asian countries, explicit CSR is still very rare in Swiss SMEs. Astonishingly, also British and American SMEs follow this pattern in spite of their strong and distinctly liberal market economies. Though other findings show that nationality matters this research concludes that SME culture and an informal CSR agenda are strongly formative and superseding even forces of market economies, nationally cultural patterns, and language. Hence, classifications of countries by their market system, as found in the comparative capitalism literature, do not match the CSR practices in SMEs as they do not mirror the peculiarities of their business. This raises questions on the universality and generalisability of unmediated, explicit management concepts, especially in the context of small firms.

    E Maleviti, Y Mulugetta, W Wehrmeyer (2011)Environmental attitudes and energy initiatives within the greek hotel sector, In: Sustainability in Energy and Buildings - Results of the 2nd International Conference on Sustainability in Energy and Buildings, SEB'10pp. 225-235

    This paper describes the Greek hoteliers' attitudes about energy initiatives and their implementation to their facilities. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate the interaction between the users' behaviour and the way energy is consumed in Greek hotels in a long-term period. This paper is part of a wider research project that explores the energy consumption in several Greek hotels. Through interviews with open-ended questions, their responses reveal their opinions and the level of information they have on the existing legislation-Greek and European-on energy use in buildings. Further than that, two scenarios are developed, using the Long Range Energy Alternative Planning software (LEAP). Each one of them exhibits different findings proposing significant but easy to apply alterations to hotels. The first one is the Business as Usual scenario, and it is developed based on the current trends in energy use in hotels. The second is the Policy scenario which is developed based on the existing legislative framework, Greek and EU. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011.

    R Clift, E Eagles, AB Gilmore, JDDN Sarangi, W Wehrmeyer, VSG Murray (2001)Acute Chemical Incidents Involving Fuel: Developing Best Practice Guidance, In: Public Health Medicine(3)
    W Wehrmeyer (2006)Greener Management International: Editorial, In: Greener Management International(55)pp. 3-4
    E Gould, WCH Wehrmeyer, M Leach (2016)Transition pathways of commercial-urban fleet electrification in the UK, In: Journal of Contemporary Management5(4)pp. 53-67 Better Advances Press

    Road transport accounts for 90% of UK transport emissions; by 2027 this is targeted to be reduced by 50% (OLEV, 2011). Electric vehicles offer a substantial opportunity to reduce road emissions, particularly to decarbonise the fleet market due to the sheer number of new registrations for business applications. However the diffusion of electric vehicles requires a transition across a large spectrum of societal and economic dimensions. The relationship between transition pathways and technological lock-in in the transport sector is underresearched, particularly in the field of e-mobility. This paper explores the pathway for electric vehicles, identifying the development blocks and technological lock-in of existing vehicle types, in order to understand the opportunities for technology diffusion within commercial fleet applications. This study takes a small sample of cases to achieve an in depth exploration of the motivations and barriers to this technological change. Three UK commercial-urban fleets in differing sectors are examined to understand their individual contexts and the level of correlation with the challenges experienced by the fleet market as whole, and how these have or have not been overcome. The multi-level perspective was used to determine the dynamics of change for fleets towards electric vehicles, and the roles of different stakeholder types were explored through the ‘action space’ of government, civil society and market logics. It is evident from the cases that an ‘innovator logic’ is competing to unlock EVs through technology innovation that extends beyond the transitional role of hybrids.

    Additional publications