A Comparison of Organizational Sustainability Initiatives through Time in Public and Private Sectors: An Abstract

  • Rocio RodríguezEmail author
  • Göran Svensson
  • David Eriksson
Conference paper
Part of the Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science book series (DMSPAMS)


Comparisons help the organizations to identify areas of excellence and improvement and a path forward. Some authors go beyond the sustainability or the sustainability development “…development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs…” (WCED 1987, p. 3) and argue that we should also improve the opportunities for future generations (Svensson et al. 2016b). Sustainability has come to include three different areas of performance, economic, environmental, and social, commonly referred to as the “triple bottom line” (Winter and Knemeyer 2013).

The main purpose of this study is to compare private and public organizations’ sustainability initiatives, as well as contrast the evolution of their sustainability initiatives over time in the Spanish healthcare sector.

In this research has been applied an inductive approach based on in-depth interviews with key informants from a selection of private and public hospitals. The selection of hospitals for study was evaluated by means of judgmental sampling (Fischhoff and Bar-Hillel 1982). A non-probabilistic technique was used, because sustainability initiatives are not widespread in Spanish hospitals. The final sample consists of three private hospitals and three public ones, all of them were general hospitals.

The findings provide several research implications. Firstly, though the private and public hospitals studied are in the same healthcare industry and similar operatives, their organizational sustainability initiatives in the past, present, and future differ. Secondly, the scope of organizational sustainability initiatives between private and public hospitals is different, again comparing the past, present, and future. Thirdly, who was and who is promoting, as well who is going to promote them in the organization, also differ between private and public hospitals.

The public hospitals have realized that they often began their organizational sustainability initiatives for the wrong reasons and now take time to think about the genuine reasons and objectives for engaging in sustainable actions. They wish to continue with the organizational sustainability initiatives, but with the right motives and values. However, the private hospitals nowadays consider the organizational sustainability initiatives as a kind of competitive advantage that has to be improved continuously.

References Available Upon Request

Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rocio Rodríguez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Göran Svensson
    • 1
  • David Eriksson
    • 2
  1. 1.Kristiania University CollegeOsloNorway
  2. 2.Jönköping UniversityJönköpingSweden

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