Innovative Approaches to Organisational Sustainability: State-of-the-Art and Conceptual Framework

  • Patrícia TouraisEmail author
  • Nuno Videira
Part of the World Sustainability Series book series (WSUSE)


Organisational Sustainability (OS) has been one of the key research topics in sustainability debates. Organisational approaches that support pathways towards a more sustainable society, such as environmental management and social responsibility instruments, have been widely adopted. However, there are critical gaps in understanding how companies may design strategic pathways, assess alternatives and implement sustainability transitions. Despite multiple theories and methods on how organisations integrate sustainability into their strategies and operations, their efforts to improve sustainability performance still lack effective and consistent results. The main goal of this study is thus to identify key research challenges related with organisational sustainability and develop a conceptual framework to support the implementation of sustainability transitions in organisations. Departing from an in-depth literature review, the proposed conceptual framework supports analysis and implementation of organisational pathways, bringing insights on the key challenges and enablers of innovative long-term solutions. Preliminary results from such analysis point out that organisational sustainability transitions ought to be built in close collaboration with stakeholders, in order to achieve a shared vision of sustainability for the organisation. The pathways towards this vision should then consider the dynamics of the organisational external context and internal factors, such as organisational capabilities, innovation and participatory and systemic assessments of the organisational performance.


Organisational sustainability Corporate sustainability Meta-review Conceptual framework 



The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the Portuguese Science Foundation by providing the Ph.D. fellowship (PD/BD/128446/2017) that supported this work. We also acknowledge CENSE strategic project (UID/AMB/04085/2013) and the NOVA School of Science and Technology of NOVA University Lisbon.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CENSE - Center for Environmental and Sustainability Research, NOVA School of Science and TechonologyNOVA University LisbonCaparicaPortugal

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