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Performance And Environmental Sustainability Orientations In The Informal Economy Of A Least Developed Country

Emiel L. Eijdenberg, Deo Sabokwigina, Enno Masurel

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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate the extent to which performance and environmental sustainability orientations (ESOs) are developed, as well as their association, in a typical impoverished community: the informal economy of an African least developed country (LDC). Design/methodology/approach Based on a literature review and a pre-study on the spot, a questionnaire was developed before being completed by 140 informal food vendors – that is, “subsistence entrepreneurs” – in Tanzania. t-Tests, correlation analyses and regression analyses were carried out to approach the formulated hypotheses. Findings The results showed that a significant distinction can be made between basic and advanced performance. In addition, the respondents showed significantly higher levels of awareness of ESO practices that are intangible and are not fully within their control than the so-called personal tangible ESO practices. However, performance was minimally affected by ESOs. Originality/value While firm performance and environmental sustainability have been shortlisted on agendas outside academia (e.g. international development organisations) as a means to develop LDCs, the scientific community is lagging behind with regard to these two. This paper is one step forward in unravelling how performance and ESOs occur in LDCs.