Sustainability enforcement : a qualitative study into the drivers and barriers of sustainable value creation : a Norwegian salmon farming context
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- Master Thesis 
As the salmon farming industry is expected to increase production fivefold by 2050, it is pertinent to explore how the firms in the industry manage their business operations. The purpose of this Master Thesis is to examine how salmon farming companies can strengthen their sustainability position through strategies and practices, in view of traditional business administrative theories. Although novel theories and frameworks concerning sustainable business procedures are being developed, such as the concepts of circular economy or corporate social responsibility, we recognise that it will be applicable to rather explore new phenomena using traditional business literature in a new context. This can be justified by the idea that we want to understand what sustainability explicitly means to firms in the salmon farming industry. We want to comprehend how organisations ensure profitability while simultaneously reduce negative environmental impacts. The global shift in consumer- and market trends regarding sustainability legislation and standards, implies that it is required for businesses and industries to change rapidly to maintain or improve their reputation and solve the operational challenges. The salmon farming industry constitutes one of the largest industries in Norway in terms of export, and therefore has a great responsibility. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with eight business representatives from seven salmon farming firms to examine their experiences with sustainability strategies and practices. Overall findings and analyses show differences in the use of resources towards sustainability implementation, which is characterised by different priorities among the salmon farming companies. Various priorities are thus dependent on each firm’s resource composition, considering intangible and tangible assets such as access to licenses, specialised technologies/equipment, competencies, and compliance standards and certifications. The willingness to invest in long-term specific projects are high, and the associated resources are either tailored within the firm or in alliances with suppliers and partners. Finally, our findings indicate that the firms’ competencies constitute the underlying resources that enable them to foster sustainable innovation within the industry.