Search results

1 – 10 of over 16000
To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Wail El Hilali, Abdellah El Manouar and Mohammed Abdou Janati Idrissi

In a world where big data have become crucial to guarantee the success of companies, digital transformation came to help companies transition towards a digital business…

Abstract

Purpose

In a world where big data have become crucial to guarantee the success of companies, digital transformation came to help companies transition towards a digital business and accept the changes in the organizational structure as well as the market. Nonetheless, even with the ever-growing importance shed on it, few articles and studies have linked it to the sustainability paradigm. Empirical studies that have linked between the factors of digital transformation and a more sustainable business are still scant. Many efforts are still needed to reduce the knowledge gap between these two concepts. The purpose of this paper is to fill this gap by examining (empirically) the effect of digital transformation on sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

The study validates five different hypotheses highlighted by the literature using structural equation model (SEM) analysis from partial least square (PLS) approach. It uses a new conceptual framework using a survey data, answered by 41 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Morocco from different industries.

Findings

Using PLS-SEM modeling, the results show that customers, data and innovation, which are drivers that companies should work on during a digital transformation, have a significant impact on companies’ quest to reach sustainability. However, and in contrast to the existing literature, authors find that competition did not play a significant role in enhancing the companies’ commitment to sustainability.

Practical implications

Authors’ findings encourage firms to seize the opportunity of digital transformation to embrace sustainability, because the implementation of these two concepts requires radical changes at the business model level. Authors suggest that the road to achieve sustainability in a digital era should focus on three main axes, enhancing the customer experience and adopting customer centricity, building data analytics capabilities and shifting innovation to the business model level.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is one of the first research papers that explain how to reach sustainability during a digital transformation. The originality of this paper lies in the fact that it focuses on SMEs as they remain the backbone of the Moroccan economy. This study is also novel for showing with empirical evidences that working on the axes of customers, data and innovation, during a digital transformation journey, will improve sustainable practices within businesses.

Details

International Journal of Innovation Science, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-2223

Keywords

Content available
Article

Christine Wamsler

Current approaches to sustainability science and education focus on (assessing and addressing) the external world of ecosystems, wider socio-economic structures…

Abstract

Purpose

Current approaches to sustainability science and education focus on (assessing and addressing) the external world of ecosystems, wider socio-economic structures, technology and governance dynamics. A major shortcoming of such approaches is the neglect of inner dimensions and capacities (which constrains education for sustainability as an end), and a limited capacity to facilitate reflection on the cognitive and socio-emotional processes underpinning people’s learning, everyday life choices and decision-taking (which constrains education for sustainability as a means). More integral approaches and pedagogies are urgently needed. The purpose of this paper is to advance related knowledge.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper provides a reflexive case study of the development of an innovative course on “Sustainability and Inner Transformation” and associated interventions in the form of a practice lab and weekly councils.

Findings

The paper elaborates on the connections between sustainability and inner transformation in education, offers insights into the process of adapting contemplative interventions to sustainability education and concludes with some reflections on challenges, lessons learnt and future work needed to support more integral approaches. The findings show that inner dimensions and transformation can be a vehicle for critical, improved education for sustainability and how this can be achieved in practice.

Originality/value

It is only recently that the concept of the inner or personal (sphere of) transformation has received growing attention in sustainability science and education. Despite this interest, such new conceptualizations and heuristics have, to date, not been systematically connected to education for sustainability (neither as an end nor means). The paper presents a critical, reflexive case, which advances related knowledge. It sets a precedent, which other universities/training institutions could follow or learn from.

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

D. Ferrer‐Balas, J. Adachi, S. Banas, C.I. Davidson, A. Hoshikoshi, A. Mishra, Y. Motodoa, M. Onga and M. Ostwald

The purpose of this paper is to identify the key aspects of transformation of universities towards sustainability, such as the ideal characteristics of the “sustainable…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the key aspects of transformation of universities towards sustainability, such as the ideal characteristics of the “sustainable university”, and the drivers and barriers in the transformation, by comparing the strategies of seven universities world‐wide.

Design/methodology/approach

A systems transformation analysis of seven case studies has been applied through a self‐evaluation based on the tridimensional Framework‐Level‐Actors (FLA) method.

Findings

The study shows that none of the three dimensions of change is predominant over the others. The main barrier to be overcome is the lack of incentive structure for promoting changes at the individual level. The main drivers for change are the presence of “connectors” with society, the existence of coordination bodies and projects, and the availability of funding, all of which are important for progress. Enhancing interdisciplinarity is a strategic objective at almost all of these universities, while transformative learning is less present. A common characteristic for most of the institutions is establishing and supporting networks of expertise within the universities. These universities show important strategic efforts and initiatives that drive and nucleate change for sustainable development, the result of a combination of drivers.

Practical implications

The FLA‐method has proved useful for being used at the level of comparing case‐studies through a bird's‐eye perspective.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates the application of a simple tool that gives a global perspective on transformational strategies used in seven cases world‐wide in the search for commonalities and differences.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Erik G. Hansen and Stefan Schaltegger

This paper analyses the sustainability-oriented transformation of industries from the lens of sustainable entrepreneurship. The authors investigate the co-evolution

Abstract

Purpose

This paper analyses the sustainability-oriented transformation of industries from the lens of sustainable entrepreneurship. The authors investigate the co-evolution between pioneers introducing radically more sustainable offerings and (mostly large) market leaders with their responses. While sustainability pioneers introduce new products in niche markets, incumbents advance them into the mass market, together leading to the transformation of industries, markets and consumer habits.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors apply the sustainable entrepreneurship perspective to a case study of the German clothing retail industry with a focus on organic cotton. The analysis covers four of the ten largest German textile retailers. Data collection is based on public available sources.

Findings

The late 1970s saw the foundation of Hess Natur, which pioneered organic cotton practices and supported the development of sustainability standards in the clothing industry. In the beginning this was largely a phenomenon in niche markets, but to date some organic practices have diffused amongst mainstream retailers. This is counter-intuitive, as theory suggests that incumbents only adopt practices with significantly lower sustainability standards than companies in the niche.

Research limitations/implication

The study suggests that more research should focus on the co-evolutionary dynamics between pioneering companies and incumbents and examine whether and how sustainability practices diffuse into the mass market.

Practical implications

The findings can help managers to better understand their organisation's role in the transformation of industries towards sustainability and, vice versa, how the transformation may affect them. Leading the transformation challenge by adopting organic and other sustainable supply chain practices can be an important measure for market success.

Originality/value

This study is one of the few pieces of research investigating sustainability-oriented industry transformation from a market-based perspective. Actual data on organic cotton diffusion in German retail are presented.

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Yulia Aray, Anna Veselova, Dmitri Knatko and Anna Levchenko

In reaction to the environmental challenge, many firms are looking for the ways how to integrate sustainability into their operations, business models and strategies. Very…

Abstract

Purpose

In reaction to the environmental challenge, many firms are looking for the ways how to integrate sustainability into their operations, business models and strategies. Very often sustainable initiatives go beyond the boundaries of a focal firm engaging a wide variety of partners within the supply chain. In conditions of countries with institutional deficiencies and voids such as emerging economies, the task of sustainability integration is challenging as many critical conditions needed for sustainability development are missing. To understand how firms can integrate sustainability initiatives in their supply chains under the conditions of environmental uncertainty, this paper aims to investigate firm-level and supply chain drivers that stimulate sustainability implementation in Russian firms.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the sample of 273 large Russian firms the paper explores how firm-level drivers such as innovativeness, risk-taking and internationalization, as well as collaboration and integration in the supply chain are related to sustainability performance and sustainability transformation in supply chain. The hypotheses are tested using regression analysis and the bootstrapping technique.

Findings

The study indicates the positive association between sustainability performance and sustainability transformation of the firm and such strategic drivers as a firm’s innovativeness and internationalization. The positive moderating effect of environmental uncertainty was found for innovativeness indicating that innovative firms show better sustainable performance in the supply chain under uncertain conditions. Also, the findings indicate that environmental uncertainty positively moderates the relationships between a firm’s transformation for sustainability, its internationalization and supply chain integration and coordination.

Originality/value

The obtained results contribute to a better understanding of mechanisms that drive firms’ sustainability performance and transformation in conditions of emerging markets. The paper provides an adaptation and empirical testing of Silvestre’s (2015) theoretical model for sustainable supply chain management in emerging economies.

Details

Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Ki-Hoon Lee and Stefan Schaltegger

This paper aims to investigate the roles of leadership in enabling sustainability transformation of universities and higher sustainability management education. It…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the roles of leadership in enabling sustainability transformation of universities and higher sustainability management education. It advocates research into the role of leadership for a university’s sustainability transformation by exploring interactions between university members and institutional contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a case study approach, this study explores the sustainability transformation of a university and its influence on the MBA Sustainability Management by applying Mintzberg’s leadership framework.

Findings

The findings suggest that leaders can strongly influence a process of change in mindsets, practices and curricula to incorporate sustainability into higher business education institutions. Whereas bottom-up leadership initiatives are crucial, leadership support from top management is seen as important to enable larger, more radical steps of transformation.

Originality/value

It is worthy noting that in the medium run strategic leadership to develop good sustainability management education programs requires a consistent institutional commitment for sustainability.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Clemens Mader, Geoffrey Scott and Dzulkifli Abdul Razak

Numerous policy announcements and articles have been produced over the past 20 years calling for higher education institutions to give greater focus to social, cultural…

Abstract

Purpose

Numerous policy announcements and articles have been produced over the past 20 years calling for higher education institutions to give greater focus to social, cultural, economic and environmental sustainability in their curriculum, research, engagement activities and operations. However, there has been much less attention given to establishing how to ensure these desired developments are successfully initiated, implemented and sustained. It is to these key areas of effective change management, leadership, support and governance for embedding sustainability into the core activities of higher education institutions through transformation that this special issue of Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal (SAMPJ) gives focus. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper brings together a consolidated analysis of the existing empirical literature on effective change management and leadership in higher education transformation with particular focus on the results of a recent international empirical study of 188 experienced leaders of sustainability in universities in Australia, the UK, the European Mainland, North America and South Africa.

Findings

The paper brings together the case for action in the sector, identifies an integrating framework for addressing sustainable development in the university curriculum, research, engagement activities and operations consistently, comprehensively through a whole institutional approach and identifies the key challenges and lessons on effective change management and leadership for sustainability transformation initiatives in universities and colleges.

Originality/value

Higher education institutions often give more attention to discussing what should change in their provision than to ensuring that desired transformations are actually put into practice effectively, sustainably and with positive impact. This paper and the articles which follow seek to address this gap.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Yury E. Blagov and Anastasia A. Petrova-Savchenko

The purpose of this paper is to explore the current status and identify the main trends in leading Russian companies’ corporate sustainability model transformation in the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the current status and identify the main trends in leading Russian companies’ corporate sustainability model transformation in the context of achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

Design/methodology/approach

A theoretical approach is based on the interpretation of corporate sustainability model transformation within the corporate social performance (CSP) framework. The corporate sustainability model is described according to Dyllick and Muff (2016) business sustainability (BST) 1.0-3.0 spectrum. The analysis is settled on survey data collected from leading Russian companies participated in the “Report on Social Investments in Russia” project conducted by the Russian Managers Association from 2008 to 2019.

Findings

This paper finds that the BST 2.0 is becoming a dominant model based on the “creating shared value” goal. The related CSP is characterized by their orientation to the principles of the UN Global Compact; by the emergence of a coordinating role for specialized departments of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and/or sustainability; and by the regular sustainability reporting. The SDGs are generally correlated with responsible business practices that are already in existence in companies. The emerging trend towards the advanced BST 3.0 model including the SDGs integration into the main business processes is constrained by the lack of active cooperation between companies.

Research limitations/implications

The research sample includes only large Russian companies with a significant industry diversity, participating in the “Report on Social Investments in Russia” project, thereby restricting the analysis of non-participants. The relatively low repetition of participants in this long-term project does also restrict the degree of generalization. Future research could be based on the findings of this paper to create and test hypotheses via a nationwide study of Russian businesses as well as cross-national comparative studies.

Practical implications

The analysis of the corporate sustainability model transformation through studying the key CSP framework elements could support Russian companies in creating systemic changes of their principles, processes and outcomes measurements in the context of achieving the UN SDGs.

Originality/value

This study contributes to existing literature by combining the corporate sustainability model transformation analysis with the CSP framework. It describes the experience of large Russian companies that publicly position themselves as national leaders in the field of CSR and sustainable development.

Details

Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

Content available
Article

Zack Walsh, Jessica Böhme, Brooke D. Lavelle and Christine Wamsler

This paper aims to increase related knowledge across personal, social and ecological dimensions of sustainability and how it can be applied to support transformative learning.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to increase related knowledge across personal, social and ecological dimensions of sustainability and how it can be applied to support transformative learning.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides a reflexive case study of the design, content and impact of a course on eco-justice that integrates relational learning with an equity and justice lens. The reflexive case study provides a critical, exploratory self-assessment, including interviews, group discussions and surveys with key stakeholders and course participants.

Findings

The results show how relational approaches can support transformative learning for sustainability and provide concrete practices, pathways and recommendations for curricula development that other universities/training institutions could follow or learn from.

Originality/value

Sustainability research, practice and education generally focuses on structural or systemic factors of transformation (e.g. technology, governance and policy) without due consideration as to how institutions and systems are shaping and shaped by the transformation of personal agency and subjectivity. This presents a vast untapped and under-studied potential for addressing deep leverage points for change by using a relational approach to link personal, societal and ecological transformations for sustainability.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 21 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Content available
Article

Johan Holmén, Tom Adawi and John Holmberg

While sustainability-oriented education is increasingly placing importance on engaging students in inter- and transdisciplinary learning processes with societal actors and…

Abstract

Purpose

While sustainability-oriented education is increasingly placing importance on engaging students in inter- and transdisciplinary learning processes with societal actors and authentic challenges in the centre, little research attends to how and what students learn in such educational initiatives. This paper aims to address this by opening the “black box” of learning in a Challenge Lab curriculum with transformational sustainability ambitions.

Design/methodology/approach

Realist evaluation was used as an analytical frame that takes social context into account to unpack learning mechanisms and associated learning outcomes. A socio-cultural perspective on learning was adopted, and ethnographic methods, including interviews and observations, were used.

Findings

Three context-mechanism-outcome (CMO) configurations were identified, capturing what students placed value and emphasis on when developing capabilities for leading sustainability transformations: engaging with complex “in-between” sustainability challenges in society with stakeholders across sectors and perspectives; navigating purposeful and transformative change via backcasting; and “whole-person” learning from the inside-out as an identity-shaping process, guided by personal values.

Practical implications

The findings of this paper can inform the design, development, evaluation and comparison of similar educational initiatives across institutions, while leaving room for contextual negotiation and adjustment.

Originality/value

This paper delineates and discusses important learning mechanisms and outcomes when students act as co-creators of knowledge in a sustainability-oriented educational initiative, working with authentic challenges together with societal actors.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 22 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 16000