Managing Tensions in Corporate Sustainability Through a Practical Wisdom Lens

  • Laura F. Sasse-WerhahnEmail author
  • Claudius BachmannEmail author
  • André HabischEmail author
Original Paper


Previous research has underlined the significance of practical wisdom pertaining to corporate sustainability (CS). Recent studies, however, have identified managing opposing but interlocked tensions related to environmental, social, and economic aspects as one of the most crucial future challenges in CS. Therefore, we apply the established link between wisdom and sustainability to the pressing topic of managing tensions in CS. We commence with a literature overview of tensions in sustainability management, which manifests our basic work assumption concerning the need for practical wisdom in CS. We then discuss the threefold, mutual interconnectedness between practical wisdom and tension management in CS, which we illustrate in a conceptual model. Thereafter, we develop a set of propositions on how a practical wisdom approach influences CS in practice and how it differs from a business-case approach. In recognition of the conceptual character of our paper, we conclude by outlining potential practical applications and theoretical implications of the model and of the propositions. Limitations and avenues for further research are discussed.


Corporate sustainability Tension management Practical wisdom Sustainable management Business ethics Prudence 



We would like to thank three anonymous reviewers for their very useful suggestions on a previous draft. We greatly appreciate the comments received.


The authors confirm that no funding was received for this study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Economics and Business AdministrationCatholic University of Eichstätt-IngolstadtEichstättGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Catholic TheologyUniversity of BonnBonnGermany

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