The Future of Corporate Sustainability: Towards and Ecology of Organisations Focused on Sustainability
until further notice
Wiesbaden, Germany : Springer-Gabler
InO’Riordan, L.; Zmuda, P.; Heinemann, S. (ed.), New perspectives on corporate social responsibility: Locating the missing link, pp. 23-48
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O’Riordan, L.; Zmuda, P.; Heinemann, S. (ed.), New perspectives on corporate social responsibility: Locating the missing link
This is a chapter about how to organise sustainability in the twenty-first century. Multiple sources from within and outside academia support the central argument that sustainability does indeed matter and that business is part of the problem and part of the solution. Following decades of talking about sustainability, we have hardly made real progress. Furthermore, the quest for implementation has only recently appeared on the organisational radar. What has actually been implemented under the umbrella of sustainability is limited in its design and scope. The past decade has shown that these approaches and actions have not done what they were supposed to do. They do not reflect the urgency of the rapidly expanding group of issues we have assembled under the term sustainability. Central to the on-going debate regarding sustainability and responsibility is that something obvious is missing. The missing link is how we organise sustainability, not only as an organisational issue but as a collaborative challenge. The argument is built upon two elements. The first is that no organisation can achieve sustainability on its own. New and intense collaboration between organisations is needed in order to shape the process of transformation. This first element is called “an organisational ecology for sustainability”. The second element is that this new way of working will require transitions—fundamental change in a technological, organisational and social sense. This line of reasoning is developed from the past to the present. This leads to a compact overview of where we have come from and what we stand for now. It also provides a perspective of the work that needs to be accomplished in the years to come: work on new forms of collaboration, on leadership and on transition thinking. As a whole, this contribution can be read as an urgent call to develop a new generation of thinking around the theme of sustainability.
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