Strategy and Competitiveness in Latin American Markets

Strategy and Competitiveness in Latin American Markets

The Sustainability Frontier

Edited by Urs P. Jäger and Vijay Sathe

Using a combination of thorough research and practical examples, Strategy and Competitiveness in Latin American Markets explains how the concept of the sustainability frontier that the book develops resolves the long-running debate on whether sustainability requires tradeoffs or not. Through its exploration of a variety of sustainability challenges and opportunities, along with various sustainability models, the authors show how the sustainability frontier can be expanded through disruptive innovation, the building of new skills and by other means to secure no-trade off solutions.

Chapter 1: Sustainability for strategy

Vijay Sathe and Urs Jäger

Subjects: business and management, management and sustainability, strategic management


This book is for companies and managers around the world who want to incorporate sustainability into business strategy in order to improve their competitiveness. Our focus is not on sustainability per se. It is on strategy and how solutions to sustainability challenges can be incorporated into a company’s business strategy for increased competitiveness. In a nutshell, it is about sustainability for strategy and not about strategy for sustainability. In our view, sustainability is not something that is to be done in addition to strategy. It is a part of strategy and can lead to improved competitiveness. But is this always the case? Some say yes; others say no. In this book, we will explore this question in the context of Latin America and provide an answer. The obsession with China and India has led to a literature on sustainability that pays little or no attention to Latin America. This book begins to fill that gap. Latin America can certainly learn from best practices around the world but it can also teach the world about sustainability because it is a resource-rich region with a huge potential for greater resource efficiency, along with cultural dimensions derived from Catholicism and humanism to traditions of corporate paternalism that lend themselves to doing well by doing good. The work of the World Economic Forum and the Boston Consulting Group on ‘sustainability champions’ and other surveys underscore the increasing interest of companies in strategies that incorporate sustainability for competitiveness.