Purpose – There is a global convergence on issues pertaining to sustainability, such as water sharing, energy security and waste management. Symbiosis focus the need to secure an enduring relationship satisfying the quality of life need for novelty aspirations of the customers and stakeholders. This is addressed as sustainable differentiation. This study aims: to understand the need to develop the symbiosis of sustainable development and sustainable differentiation, to analyze the research framework of sustainability symbiosis though the underlying attributes of: need to develop, need to innovate and need to differentiate. Design/methodology/approach – The research design conceptualizes sustainable development as a process or evolution where firms may be symbiotically configured on the attributes of sustainability, development and differentiation. The logit analysis methodology addresses competitiveness coupled with environmentally benign technology to sustain the customers' preference for products and services that satisfy their quality of life needs. The approach is to estimate the symbiotic index of a local, regional or globally scalable habitat. The competitiveness coupled with environmentally benign technology can be sustained when the customers' preference for products and services satisfies their quality of life needs. Findings – The output indicates the significance (0.037 at 95 percent confidence level) of the constant term representing “quality of life need for novelty” justifying symbiotic linkage of sustainability, development and differentiation. There is goodness of fit ( α 0.5617, Wald statistic 0.093) to establish the significance of the three variables of GDP (representing intensity of eco‐efficient technology), population (standing for intensity of competitiveness) and sustaining empathy (in response to climate change). Their statistical significance indicates the propensity to differentiation given sustainable development would substantively improve the overall construct. Research limitations/implications – There is need for further research with primary data. The assumption that sustainable differentiation may become an indicator variable that may assume binary form needs thorough justification. The key implication is that differentiation creates grassroots distinctiveness to development that transforms sustainability into opportunity. This cost to benefit gap is bridged through the symbiotic chain of sustainability, development and differentiation. Originality/value – This sustainable differentiation metric harnesses a dormant, yet fundamental key to the success of sustainable development, the emotive linkage. This explanatory variable adds robustness to sustainable development models by way of etching a long‐term memory trace for the sustainability practices of the organization as well as innovation efforts to differentiate long term providing an essence of competitiveness.
Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal incorporating Journal of Global Competitiveness – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 11, 2014
Keywords: Sustainability; Differentiation; Logit; Quality of life need for novelty; Symbiosis
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