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Article
Publication date: 14 December 2017

Lorenz M. Hilty and Patrizia Huber

Sustainable development (SD) does not usually form part of the curriculum of ICT-related study programs such as Computer Science, Information Technology, Information…

Abstract

Purpose

Sustainable development (SD) does not usually form part of the curriculum of ICT-related study programs such as Computer Science, Information Technology, Information Systems, and Informatics. However, many topics form a bridge between SD and ICT and could potentially be integrated into ICT-related study programs. This paper reports the findings of a study into which specific topics in the field of SD have the greatest potential to motivate students on ICT-related study programs to engage with the topic of sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

In this exploratory study, the authors evaluated Bachelor’s and Master’s courses that introduced the topic of SD to students on ICT-related study programs. The evaluation focuses on the insights that the students gained into sustainability and the extent to which their motivation to engage with the subject was increased. The evaluation combines qualitative and quantitative approaches.

Findings

The authors identify five thematic clusters with the greatest potential to motivate students to engage with the topic of sustainability: A conceptual model of the positive and negative impacts of ICT; Reports on the recycling of ICT hardware; Examples of using ICT to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with a focus on the substitution of virtual for physical presence; Statistical data on post-industrial seemingly dematerialized economies and the contradiction with regard to the total material demand of such economies; Evidence for rebound effects that lead to increasing demand for goods or services that are produced with less energy input or can be consumed faster.

Originality/value

ICT is a transformational and to a certain extent disruptive technology. It is therefore important to discuss the development of ICT and its applications in the context of SD. Several authors have pointed out the need to integrate the topic of sustainability into ICT courses at universities and similar, but few have discussed how this can be done in practice. Our study is the first to explore which topics have the greatest potential to motivate students on ICT-related programs to engage with the area of SD.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2007

Patrizia Garengo and Giovanni Bernardi

The aim of this study is to investigate both the path taken by companies in order to survive in a competitive environment and the factors that have favoured or limited…

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to investigate both the path taken by companies in order to survive in a competitive environment and the factors that have favoured or limited their development.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was carried out using a retrospective approach. Empirical evidence was gathered using a descriptive survey and data collected during previous research programs involving 100 SMEs located in the Veneto region (Italy).

Findings

The findings show that a lack of organizational capabilities is one of the main factors limiting development in SMEs. The companies investigated appear to follow similar paths and performance measurement systems (PMS) could play a key role as a potential driver of managerial development in SMEs.

Research limitations/implications

The study refers solely to Italian SMEs located in the Veneto region. Conclusions on the role played by PMS as a system for supporting development were based on a theoretical study; an ad hoc empirical study would be useful for further investigation of this topic.

Practical implications

The study emphasizes the important role played by organizational capability for favouring the competitiveness and survival of SMEs. The study indicated that in SMEs managerial developments usually come later, following changes in strategy. Firms could prevent managerial crisis by implementing managerial systems.

Originality/value

Traditionally the growth of SMEs is measured by turnover and number of employees. This study highlights the importance of investigating not only quantitative, but also qualitative growth to analyse development in SMEs. PMS is presented as a key managerial system that can support qualitative growth and promote the competitiveness of SMEs.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 56 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

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