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Hilary Bradbury-Huang is professor in the Management Division of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Her research, scholarly activism, and teaching focus on the human and organizational dimensions of creating healthy communities. At OHSU she teaches in the healthcare MBA and physician leadership development programs. She also develops the action research approach to community based participatory research for health.
Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to discuss managing sustainability across an industry and examine the catalyst, enablers, and challenges for systems-level change…
Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to discuss managing sustainability across an industry and examine the catalyst, enablers, and challenges for systems-level change through a case study of one organization, the Port of Los Angeles (POLA), and its participation in the Sustainable Enterprise Executive Roundtable (SEER) action learning network.
Methodology/approach – The chapter uses a case study approach, written by reflective practitioners in action.
Findings – The challenges and enablers of achieving organizational change for sustainability within the POLA ecology are addressed as part of a forcefield of enablers and obstacles. Action learning in the context of collaborative projects across the ecology becomes a key process for managing change toward a sustainable goods movement ecosystem.
Research/practical implications – The chapter is addressed to those scholar-practitioners who struggle with issues of organizational change for sustainability outcomes. The core work is to align organizations, within and around the node organization, for sustainability. By analyzing the systems forcefield, we can better perceive the implications for action and identify leverage for change.
Social implications – Organizations are the key unit for culture change for sustainability within society. Engaging with other organizations involved in the work of sustainability is required to create systems-level change.
Originality/value – The scholarly contribution is based on revisiting the usefulness of Lewin's Change Forcefield, which the authors have adapted by integrating the concepts of the learning organization and systems thinking to help understand change and redesign efforts for sustainability within and among organizations.
Corporations are now collaborating to meet complex global sustainability challenges, which, until recently, were considered beyond the mandate of business leaders…
Corporations are now collaborating to meet complex global sustainability challenges, which, until recently, were considered beyond the mandate of business leaders. Multi-organizational consortia have formed, not as philanthropic efforts, but to find competitive advantage. To examine the dynamics of an early collaboration of this sort, with a view to suggesting how future inter-organizational projects might be fostered, we pursued an in-depth multi-method case study of “The Sustainability Consortium.” The Consortium has convened Fortune 50 senior managers since 1998. Our analysis uncovers the primacy of “Relational Space” – a rich context for aspirational trust and reflective learning across organizational boundaries, which is enabled by, and in turn gives rise to, collaborative projects. Within this space, an ecology of organizational leaders committed to sustainability can accomplish together what would be impossible in their individual organizations. We explain the viability of this collaboration.
This case is based on 30 interviews with participants in a seven-year sustainability project at a leading North American manufacturer. The project enhanced financial value…
This case is based on 30 interviews with participants in a seven-year sustainability project at a leading North American manufacturer. The project enhanced financial value and positively impacted the natural and organizational environments. The case draws attention to innovative methods to increase non-executive employee engagement in technical innovation for sustainability. In particular, many interviewees noted how eco-action learning had motivated them to persevere. However, their intense commitment also exacted a cost, most significantly in time away from family. The process by which these results were achieved is discussed as an example of “appreciative intelligence” to suggest how leaders and employees can reframe business, connect elevated personal purpose to day-to-day business tasks, and consequently create a more sustainable future.
The large number of publications about sustainability and sustainable development that have been published during the past decade has dealt largely with the science of…
The large number of publications about sustainability and sustainable development that have been published during the past decade has dealt largely with the science of sustainability, the content of sustainability initiatives, and increasingly with the need to more closely link the economic, environmental, and social purposes and operating logic of the firm. Recent literature stresses the inherent social nature of the challenges to aggressively moving to more sustainable ways of operating for the well-being of our planet, society, economy, organizations, and humans. Despite rich case examples, guidance on how to organize to achieve the triple bottom line is limited. We take stock of the current state of knowledge, using an adaptive complex system perspective to articulate the challenges of organizing for sustainable effectiveness. Most of the global economy and the knowledge upon which it is predicated carry a logic of resource abundance even in the face of increasing competition for scarce resources, and a singular focus on economic outcomes. We argue that the development of new capabilities to address triple bottom line sustainability requires a change in that logic and requires new rules of interaction, new organizational and interorganizational designs, and new ways of learning. The premise is that systems can build on their inherent capabilities to learn and to act collectively in order to adapt. We argue that by working together to collaboratively explore how to organize for sustainability, academics and practitioners can accelerate knowledge generation and progress. This chapter provides the theoretical framing context for the chapters to come.
Julia Balogun is the Professor Sir Roland Smith Chair in strategic management at Lancaster University Management School (UK) and a fellow of the Advanced Institute for Management (AIM). Julia's research and consulting centers on strategy development, strategic change and transformation. She has a particular interest in how large corporations transform themselves to both retain and regain competitive advantage in the face of declining performance and is increasingly interested in how this achieved in multinational corporations. She adopts a sociological perspective to explore strategizing in organizations, and is convenor of the EGOS standing working group on Strategy as Practice and one of the founder members of the new Strategizing, Activities and Practice Interest Group at the Academy. Her research has been published in journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Management Studies, Organization Studies and Long Range Planning. Julia serves on the editorial boards of several leading journals, including Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Journal of Management Studies, and Long Range Planning.
The first annual volume of Research in Organization Change and Development was published by JAI Press in 1987. Since then, ROCD has provided a special platform for scholars and practitioners to share new research-based insights. Volume eighteen continues the tradition of providing insightful and thought provoking chapters. The chapters in the volume represent a commitment to maintaining the high quality of work that our readers have come to expect from this publication.