Sustainable Development Drivers
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Sustainable Development Drivers

The Role of Leadership in Government, Business and NGO Performance

Edited by Kees Zoeteman

Sustainable development cannot be prescribed – rather, it results from conscious personal choices in government, business and NGOs. This thought-provoking book explores both the origins and future of the global sustainable development movement, and provides an original overview of the driving forces of sustainable development, including market forces and past and future trends.
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Chapter 7: Ranking of Nations

Kees Zoeteman, Wouter Kersten and Lieke van de Voort


Kees Zoeteman, Wouter Kersten and Lieke van de Voort SUMMARY Sustainability attitudes can also be estimated for nations. This chapter discusses an approximating method that is not based on questionnaires among the political and business actors or civilians, but which uses indicators provided by international organizations such as the World Bank and the UN. The outcome of a study at Tilburg University of 116 nations over the period 1996–2006 is presented. According to this method, the sustainability attitude of a nation proves to be relatively stable over a period of ten years – although some countries show a gradual fall or rise in the decade studied. Examples of increasing attitude levels are found for China and Poland. Within groups of nations or states, large differences in attitudes can be the cause of tensions. Examples of such tensions within the EU are discussed. INTRODUCTION Sustainability attitudes are not only differing among individuals. Also the culture of corporations differs widely – as do the cultures of nations and the corresponding dominant attitudes. Attitudes in China are not the same as those in Nigeria or Canada. A study illustrating this for the first time in a systematic scientific way was carried out by Geert Hofstede.1 Using data he collected in the first instance among IBM collaborators worldwide, Hofstede developed a model with five cultural dimensions, which he applied to some 70 nations. These dimensions were power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance and long-term orientation. His work helped to better understand difficulties for international corporations...

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