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Is your sustainability strategy sustainable? Creating a culture of sustainability

Timothy Galpin (Department of Management, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA)
J. Lee Whitttington (Department of Management, University of Dallas, Irving, Texas, USA)
Greg Bell (Department of Management, University of Dallas, Irving, Texas, USA)

Corporate Governance

ISSN: 1472-0701

Article publication date: 2 February 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to present a multidisciplinary model that can be used as both a road map for practicing managers to create a sustainability focused culture within their own organizations, and as a guide for future research into the relationship between organizational culture and sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

A narrative synthesis approach is used to integrate extant empirical and practitioner literature spanning various disciplines to build a comprehensive model, including key propositions, to assist both practitioners and researchers alike. Case examples illustrating each component of the model in practice and implications for future research based on the key tenets of the model are also provided.

Findings

Building an organizational infrastructure that fosters a culture of sustainability results in positive employee- and organizational-level sustainability performance.

Research limitations/implications

The model presented is an important advancement in the sustainability literature. It is applicable to various sustainability efforts, and it may be applied regardless of the industry or the size of the companies undertaking sustainability initiatives. The model provides a framework to guide research into the relationship between organizational culture and sustainability. Future research should focus on the relationship between the different organizational factors identified in the model, organizational culture and sustainability performance.

Practical implications

The multidisciplinary model presented can be used as a road map for practicing managers to create a sustainability focused culture within their own organizations.

Originality/value

A gap exists in both the empirical and practitioner literature regarding the development and assessment of the organizational factors that foster a culture of sustainability. Moreover, no clear model exists with the expressed purpose of helping leaders create such a culture, while providing a framework to guide research into the relationship between organizational culture and sustainability. In this paper, a comprehensive model, including key propositions, to assist both practitioners and researchers alike is presented. Case examples illustrating each component of the model in practice and implications for future research based on the key tenets of the model are also provided.

Keywords

Citation

Galpin, T., Whitttington, J.L. and Bell, G. (2015), "Is your sustainability strategy sustainable? Creating a culture of sustainability", Corporate Governance, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1108/CG-01-2013-0004

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited