Handbook of Organizational and Entrepreneurial Ingenuity

Handbook of Organizational and Entrepreneurial Ingenuity

Elgar original reference

Edited by Benson Honig, Joseph Lampel and Israel Drori

The editors of this Handbook, Benson Honig, Joseph Lampel and Israel Drori, define organizational ingenuity as ‘the ability to create innovative solutions within structural constraints using limited resources and imaginative problem solving’. They and the authors examine the dichotomy between organizational freedom and necessity in order to better understand the role of ingenuity in the success of an organization.

Chapter 3: Ingenuity spirals and corporate environmental sustainability

David B. Zoogah

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, organisational behaviour


The rapid pace of environmental change is propelling corporations, governments, and academics to identify systems that arrest the increasing degradation of the environment and facilitate enhanced sustainability (see Christmann and Taylor, 2002; Shrivastava and Berger, 2010; United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987). These views emerge from the realization that the world is trapped in environmental degradation, and recent sustainability attempts still yield gaps (Gardner and Stern, 2002; Hoffman and Haigh, 2012; Metzner, 1999). Individuals, groups, and nations have also been mobilized through such groups as the Aspen Institute, The Brundtland Commission, and the United Nations to identify preventive solutions and promotive mechanisms that facilitate environmental sustainability (Jackson et al., 2011). Corporations in particular are becoming proactive in establishing sustainability systems (González-Benito and González-Benito, 2006). They are striving for ingenuity in their attempts to reduce their carbon footprint or environmental impact. Academics are also endeavoring to understand and help resolve environmental problems such as deforestation, pollution, erosions, catastrophes, toxicity, desertification, aridity, smog, etc. Studies suggest that environmental sustainability can be promoted through positive deviant behaviors (Hoffman and Haigh, 2012) and preliminary evidence seems to provide some support for ecological transcendence (Zoogah, 2013b). One critical factor that seems to be missing, though, is ecological ingenuity. Briefly, ecological ingenuity refers to environment-centered ingenuity (i.e., ingenious ideas that restore health to the natural environment).

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