The Sustainability Frontier
Edited by Urs P. Jäger and Vijay Sathe
Conclusion to Part III: Sustainability models for achieving viability, legitimacy and competitiveness
Vijay Sathe and Urs Jäger
Each chapter in Part III presents a model for improving a company’s economic, environmental and social performance. As such, these are all models for moving forward in Direction 1 on the sustainability map (Figure 1.1). Each model provides a lens for viewing a company’s sustainability challenges and opportunities, and how they may best be addressed. The models in Chapters 10 and 11 are both lenses for viewing ‘no-trade-off ’ solutions. Other chapters use the lens of a business cluster (Chapter 12) and the sustainable supply chain (Chapter 13) to highlight the opportunities available for sustainable pursuit. Chapter 14 focuses on the ignored or underserved markets at the base of the pyramid and presents a model of social business for pursuing these opportunities sustainably. Where these models differ is in the extent to which they consider whether the economic, environmental and social outcomes produced serve to secure the firm’s viability, legitimacy and competitiveness. These three determinants of the survival and success of a company were introduced in Chapter 1, and further developed in the Conclusion to Part II. We now elaborate on their particular significance for companies operating in Latin America. The concepts of viability and legitimacy provide managers with a language to describe their social and environmental contributions as an integral part of their strategies for sustainable competitiveness.
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