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Facilitating organizational change for embedding sustainability into academia: a case study

Nadine Exter (Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility, Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield, UK)
David Grayson (Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility, Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield, UK)
Rajiv Maher (Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility, Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield, UK)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 15 March 2013

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to capture, codify and communicate an implicit change‐management process to embed corporate responsibility and sustainability at the Cranfield School of Management.

Design/methodology/approach

To explain the (on‐going) change‐management process, the authors retrospectively applied change‐management literature to the implicit process in which they have, themselves, been intimately involved.

Findings

The implicit change‐management process had unconsciously mobilized a variety of tactics identified in the change‐management literature; a more explicit articulation of the “as‐is” and “desired” states, and a more explicit, systematic and regular communication of the journey and goal, might have enabled faster progress. However, the nature of a highly autonomous and decentralized organization, such as an academic institution, means that sustainable change management may be slower than in commercial institutions.

Research limitations/implications

The authors have been closely engaged in the change‐management process they describe and, inevitably, have unconscious biases and partial perspectives. Nevertheless, as a frank and self‐critical account of a five‐year‐plus process, it can assist other academic institutions.

Practical implications

As more business schools seek to embed corporate responsibility and sustainability, the case study identifies a series of potential change‐management tactics.

Originality/value

The paper applies a change‐management model to examine how one school of management is tackling how to embed corporate responsibility and sustainability into its research, teaching, advisory services and its own operations.

Keywords

Citation

Exter, N., Grayson, D. and Maher, R. (2013), "Facilitating organizational change for embedding sustainability into academia: a case study", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 32 No. 3, pp. 319-332. https://doi.org/10.1108/02621711311318328

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited