Like other contemporary challenges grand and small, sustainability has been understood as paradoxical (Smith & Lewis, 2011), "wicked" problems (Starik & Kanashiro, 2013) characterized by multiple stakeholders, disputed values, complex interconnectedness, foggy problem definition, limited or contested knowledge and ongoing change (McMillan & Overall, 2016). This chapter presents consultation as a precondition for sustainable entrepreneurship (research) since the ability to identify, cultivate and engage relevant conversation partners is essential for facilitating productive entrepreneurial (inter-)action. First, we discuss aspects of sustainable entrepreneurship that call for stakeholder consultation and involvement. Next, the concept of advice-seeking consultation/consulting is discussed as the pursuit of knowledge from relevant others for professional purposes. We go on to present the Productive Consultation Matrix portraying consultation as a combination of ability to facilitate trustful knowledge sharing and engagement. Throughout the chapter, we present cases from consultation practice. The chapter concludes with a discussion of consultation potentials and pitfalls.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDe Gruyter Handbook of Sustainable Entrepreneurship Research
EditorsGjalt De Jong, Tom Long, Emma Folmer, Niels Faber, Berfu Ünal
Number of pages18
PublisherDe Gruyter
Publication date4 Oct 2023
ISBN (Print)9783110755978
ISBN (Electronic)9783110756159
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2023


  • Academia-pracitioner boundary spanning
  • Academic consulting
  • Co-Creation
  • Consultation
  • Erhvervs-PhD
  • Helping (Schein)
  • Industrial PhD
  • Konsultation
  • Management consulting
  • PBL consultancy
  • Research-Based Teaching
  • Researcher networking
  • Rådgivning
  • Samskabelse
  • Student incubator
  • consultation process
  • Facilitation
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Productive interactions


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