Managing sustainability perspectives

Organizations have become more aware of the social, environmental, and economic consequences of their activities. Therefore most organizations have a seperate policy on sustainability or corporate responsibility, which enable them to manage and to act more effectively.

Sustainability on a strategic or company level is often difficult to define, measure and manage. Take for example the poll in last week’s StrategyBlog researching the question: is sustainability driving innovation in your organization? There were more than hundred votes last week, showing that sustainability is driving innovation (explicitly and not explicitly) in the majority of the organizations from the perspective of the respondent.

The results of the poll can only be interpreted further from the perspective of the respondent and the specific situations. In the new article “How Do Employees Perceive Corporate Responsibility?“, it shows that not all employees and stakeholders view the sustainability actions or policies the same. To measure and manage sustainability more effectively it can be helpful to introduce the concept of Corporate Stakeholder Responsibility (CStR).

What role social- and environmental issues play in management decisions, such as innovation or any other management decision, is highligted in the article “Managing social, environmental and financial performance simultaneously“. The article shows that in practice managers do not find it difficult to weigh the social, environmental and financial aspects in making business decisions. Managers recognize the financial value of stakeholder reactions to social and environmental performance. This recognition is the foundation of responsible decisions and to create “win-win-win” situations for social, environmental and financial performance.

Norbert Bol

Literature

El Akremi, A., Gond, J. P., Swaen, V., De Roeck, K., & Igalens, J. (2015). How Do Employees Perceive Corporate Responsibility? Development and Validation of a Multidimensional Corporate Stakeholder Responsibility Scale. Journal of Management, 0149206315569311. (ahead of print)

Epstein, M. J., Buhovac, A. R., & Yuthas, K. (2015). Managing social, environmental and financial performance simultaneously. Long Range Planning, 48(1), 35-45.

Photo credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video /Foter / CC BY: A Global Perspective

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