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Introduction to the special issue: integrating sustainability in business models

Jorge A. Arevalo (William Paterson University, Wayne, New Jersey, USA)
Itziar Castelló (Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen, Denmark)
Simone de Colle (Institute of Ethics, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland)
Gilbert Lenssen (EABIS, Brussels, Belgium)
Kerstin Neumann (Institute for Strategy and Management Control, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria)
Maurizio Zollo (Center for Research in Organization and Management (CROMA), Bocconi University, Milan, Italy)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 25 October 2011




The purpose of this paper is to introduce this special issue, conceptualized and realized by a group of scholars engaged in the Global Organizational Learning and Development Network (GOLDEN) for Sustainability programme. It aims to adopt the overarching research question of the GOLDEN research programme “How do firms learn to integrate and manage sustainability in their business models, including their organizational purpose, strategy, processes, systems and culture?” as the guiding principle for case selection.


The paper first presents the key ideas underpinning the previous research question and illustrates the research approach and agenda of GOLDEN for Sustainability. Second, it introduces the eight case studies presented in this special issue.


The cases offer good illustrations of the ongoing transition by both medium‐sized and multinational corporations dealing with learning and change challenges posed by the identification and management of sustainability issues. The selected cases represent firms operating in diverse contexts and industries, and are developed by scholars specializing in various fields connected to corporate responsibility and sustainability.


The paper presents cases of organizations that have made sense of the sustainability challenge and also the different approaches taken to tackle the challenge, and the results stemming from their efforts..



Arevalo, J.A., Castelló, I., de Colle, S., Lenssen, G., Neumann, K. and Zollo, M. (2011), "Introduction to the special issue: integrating sustainability in business models", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 30 No. 10, pp. 941-954.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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