Polluting SMEs and the construction of their environmental behaviours: Evidence from Bangladesh

Md Nazmul Hasan, Stephanos Anastasiadis, Laura J. Spence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Downloads (Pure)


This paper investigates how and under what conditions polluting SMEs (small-scale firms that produce or deal with environmentally sensitive goods such as plastics, hazardous chemicals, textiles, and rawhides) in developing countries address the environmental issues related to their activities—a broadly neglected and under-studied research agenda. Utilising extensive qualitative data drawn from SMEs operating in two of the most polluting industries in Bangladesh—leather tanning and textile dyeing—and a contextual lens from a developing country perspective, this paper provides insights into the construction of the environmental behaviours enacted by polluting SMEs. The analysis suggests that such behaviours are constructed under a number of micro-, meso-, and macro-level socio-economic conditions that act as either enablers of or barriers to responsible environmental behaviours, depending on the circumstances. The overall findings show that SMEs address the relevant environmental issues in a complex fashion, and may provide policymakers with support in the design of environmental policies tailored to the practical needs of small-scale polluting firms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-122
Number of pages14
JournalBusiness Strategy and Development
Issue number2
Early online date20 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Bangladesh
  • developing countries
  • environmental behaviour
  • environmental pollution
  • polluting firms
  • small- and medium-sized enterprises

Cite this