Wicked global challenges: sustainability in the enterprise crosshairs

Rick Edgeman (Interdisciplinary Center for Organizational Architecture, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark)

Measuring Business Excellence

ISSN: 1368-3047

Publication date: 16 March 2015

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to address wicked sustainability issues lurking behind sensational headlines: “Humanity faces significant and unprecedented challenges on grand, global scales”. Such headlines refer to the span of such challenges as well as their complex roots and consequences. In a cosmic version of the “chicken or the egg” issue, causes and consequences of these grand global challenges are often difficult to distinguish from one another, although distinction is critical to solution derivations. Sustainable Enterprise Excellence, Resilience & Robustness (SEER2) is discussed relative to selected wicked challenges, including ones associated with climate change and human security.

Design/methodology/approach

Roots of grand global challenges and the present and future reality they portend are discussed relative to intersections with enterprise strategy, performance and impact.

Findings

Social-ecological innovation, big and small data analytics and intelligence and supply chain proficiency are identified as key drivers of enterprise response to grand global challenges. These are embedded in a holistic model for enterprise sustainability, resilience and robustness.

Social implications

The SEER2 approach to enterprise sustainability, resilience and robustness that emphasizes performance and impact has the capability to aid progress toward more sustainable futures for enterprises and humankind alike.

Originality/value

The SEER2 model leverages business excellence thinking to advance strategic and tactical approaches to enterprise excellence, sustainability, resilience and robustness. As such, the model is distinctly performance-oriented. Performance alone is not sufficient, however, so that impact – financial, societal and ecological – is also deeply embedded.

Keywords

Citation

Edgeman, R. (2015), "Wicked global challenges: sustainability in the enterprise crosshairs", Measuring Business Excellence, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 13-23. https://doi.org/10.1108/MBE-11-2014-0040

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below

You may be able to access this content by logging in via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.
If you think you should have access to this content, click the button to contact our support team.