Studies on Innovative Practices
Edited by Mattias Elg, Per- Erik Ellström, Magnus Klofsten and Malin Tillmar
Chapter 1: Sustainable development in organizations
In many organizations, efforts undertaken to survive in competitive markets may have the side effect of deteriorating employee working conditions, leading to absenteeism and a loss of competitiveness. The organization becomes involved in vicious cycles of creating organizational conditions that do not promote sustainability with respect to the undertaken efforts. This book explores how to avoid this kind of destructive dynamic and enable virtuous circles, leading to sustainable development in organizations in both the private and public sectors. Change is a central characteristic of our time, as are organizations and organizing (Ahrne and Brunsson, 2006). In a modern economy, everything takes place in an organizational context. This goes for all levels of relationships, from individual, to national, to global. An individual is engaged in, or a member of, a number of organizations in a system resembling Russian nesting dolls. The same goes for organizations. A firm or a company may consist of a number of workplaces, connected in units based on different principles. Consequently, the relevant organization varies across time, space, the number of contextual characteristics and individuals.