Advertisement

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

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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Organisational sustainability Corporate sustainability Meta-review Conceptual framework 

Notes

Acknowledgements

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.

References

  1. Amui LBL, Jabbour CJC, de Sousa Jabbour ABL, Kannan D (2017) Sustainability as a dynamic organizational capability: a systematic review and a future agenda toward a sustainable transition. J Clean Prod 142:308–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Batista AAS, de Francisco AC (2018) Organizational sustainability practices: a study of the firms listed by the Corporate Sustainability Index. Sustainability (Switzerland) 10(1):226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brones FA, de Carvalho MM, de Senzi ZE (2017) Reviews, action and learning on change management for ecodesign transition. J Clean Prod 142:8–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chang RD et al (2017) Evolving theories of sustainability and firms: history, future directions and implications for renewable energy research. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 72(Nov 2015):48–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cho CH, Laine M, Roberts RW, Rodrigue M (2015) Organized hypocrisy, organizational facades, and sustainability reporting. Acc Organ Soc 40:78–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Clapp J (1998) The privatization of global environmental governance: ISO 14000 and the developing world. Glob Gov 4(3):295–316Google Scholar
  7. Clapp J (2005) Global environmental governance for corporate responsibility and accountability. Glob Environ Polit 5(3):23–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Daddi T, Magistrelli M, Frey M, Iraldo F (2011) Do environmental management systems improve environmental performance? Empirical evidence from Italian companies. Environ Dev Sustain 13(5):845–862CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. de Almeida MFL, de Melo MAC (2017) Sociotechnical regimes, technological innovation and corporate sustainability: from principles to action. Technol Anal Strat Manag 29(4):395–413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Engert S, Baumgartner RJ (2016) Corporate sustainability strategy—bridging the gap between formulation and implementation. J Clean Prod 113:822–834CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Engert S, Rauter R, Baumgartner RJ (2016) Exploring the integration of corporate sustainability into strategic management: a literature review. J Clean Prod 112:2833–2850CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Freeman RE (1984) Strategic management: a stakeholder approach. Pitman Publishing Inc., BostonGoogle Scholar
  13. Garcia S, Cintra Y, Torres R de CSR, Lima FG (2016) Corporate sustainability management: a proposed multi-criteria model to support balanced decision-making. J Clean Prod 136: 181–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Geels FW, Schot J (2007) Typology of sociotechnical transition pathways. Res Policy 36(3):399–417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Goyal P, Rahman Z, Kazmi AA (2013) Corporate sustainability performance and firm performance research. Manag Decis 51(2):361–379CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Healy H et al (eds) (2013) Ecological economics from the ground up. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. Iraldo F, Testa F, Frey M (2009) Is an environmental management system able to influence environmental and competitive performance? The case of the eco-management and audit scheme (EMAS) in the European Union. J Clean Prod 17(16):1444–1452CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jones P, Comfort D, Hillier D (2016a) Interpretations of the concept of sustainability amongst the UK’s leading food and drink wholesalers. Trziste 28(2):213–229Google Scholar
  19. Jones P, Hillier D, Comfort D (2016b) Sustainability in the hospitality industry: some personal reflections on corporate challenges and research agendas. Int J Contemp Hospitality Manag 28(1):36–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kang S-W, Lee K-H (2016) Mainstreaming corporate environmental strategy in management research. Benchmarking Int J 23(3):618–650CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kourula A, Pisani N, Kolk A (2017) Corporate sustainability and inclusive development: highlights from international business and management research. Curr Opin Environ Sustain 24:14–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kudłak R, Low KYJ (2015) Special issues dedicated to CSR and corporate sustainability: a review and commentary. Long Range Plan 48(3):215–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lankoski L (2016) Alternative conceptions of sustainability in a business context. J Clean Prod 139:847–857CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Levinsohn D (2013) Disembedded and beheaded? A critical review of the emerging field of sustainability entrepreneurship. Int J Entrep Small Bus 19(2):190–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Montiel I (2008) Corporate social responsibility and corporate sustainability. Organ Environ 21(3):245–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Montiel I, Delgado-Ceballos J (2014) Defining and measuring corporate sustainability. Organ Environ 27(2):113–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Muhammad A, Searcy C, Zutshi A, Ahmad N (2011) An integrated management systems approach to corporate sustainability. Eur Bus Rev 23(4):353–367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Nawaz W, Koç M (2018) Development of a systematic framework for sustainability management of organizations. J Clean Prod 171:1255–1274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Porter TB (2008) Managerial applications of corporate social responsibility and systems thinking for achieving sustainability outcomes. Syst Res Behav Sci 25(3):397–411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Powell SM (2011) The nexus between ethical corporate marketing, ethical corporate identity and corporate social responsibility: an internal organisational perspective. Eur J Mark 45(9/10):1365–1379CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Salzmann O, Ionescu-Somers AM, Steger U (2005) The business case for corporate sustainability: literature review and research options. Eur Manag J 23(1):27–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Schuler D, Rasche A, Etzion D, Newton L (2017) Guest Editors’ Introduction: corporate sustainability management and environmental ethics. Bus Ethics Q 27(2):213–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Searcy C (2011) Updating corporate sustainability performance measurement systems. Meas Bus Excel 15(2):44–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Searcy C (2012) Corporate sustainability performance measurement systems: a review and research agenda. J Bus Ethics 107(3):239–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Siew RYJ (2015) A review of corporate sustainability reporting tools (SRTs). J Environ Manage 164:180–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zollo M, Bettinazzi ELM, Neumann K, Snoeren P (2016) Toward a comprehensive model of organizational evolution: dynamic capabilities for innovation and adaptation of the enterprise model. Glob Strat J 6(3):225–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© 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

Personalised recommendations