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Converging sustainability definitions: industry independent dimensions

Converging sustainability definitions: industry independent dimensions Purpose – Sustainability as a construct is still debated and is yet to attain a consensus among researchers and practitioners. Sustainable development has been seen differently by players from different industry sectors. There is need to understand the commonality prevailing on sustainability practices across different industry sectors to arrive at a consensual sustainability definition. The purpose of this paper is to propose four dimensions of sustainability and studies how it captures sustainability practices across key industrial sectors. Design/methodology/approach – Current study argues the case for sustainability using four constructs, namely, economical, environmental, ethical, and social. Subsequently a holistic definition with a model is proposed incorporating the four constructs for sustainability. Studies documenting sustainability practices across industries, namely, automobile, infrastructure, cement and concrete, electronics, mining, paper, pharmaceutical, and logistics were reviewed to validate the applicability of the proposed four construct model across different key industrial sectors. Findings – Current study validates the industry independence of the proposed four constructs of sustainability model through a literature review. Very few studies have documented industry-specific sustainability practices and much lesser have studied the ethical dimension of sustainability. Furthermore, the organizational strategic plan is developed for incorporating the environmental, economical, ethical, and social needs into the organizational business operations at the strategic, tactical, and the operational levels. Research limitations/implications – Proposed model needs to be applied in multiple case organizations from diverse sectors to evaluate its capacity to capture the aspects of sustainability across different sectors. Future study could attempt to understand the interrelationships between the identified constructs and how they impact each other within different industrial sectors. Practical implications – Model linked to organizational business operations at the strategic, tactical, and the operational levels helps in the alignment of the organizational activity towards the strategic intent of the organizational sustainability philosophy in the business ecology. It also helps in equipping the organization to achieve the operational excellence and the strategic business growth at the same time. Originality/value – Current study is unique in its attempt to understand the capability of proposed sustainability dimensions to capture the sustainability practices followed across different industrial sectors. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development Emerald Publishing

Converging sustainability definitions: industry independent dimensions

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2042-5945
DOI
10.1108/WJSTSD-04-2015-0017
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Sustainability as a construct is still debated and is yet to attain a consensus among researchers and practitioners. Sustainable development has been seen differently by players from different industry sectors. There is need to understand the commonality prevailing on sustainability practices across different industry sectors to arrive at a consensual sustainability definition. The purpose of this paper is to propose four dimensions of sustainability and studies how it captures sustainability practices across key industrial sectors. Design/methodology/approach – Current study argues the case for sustainability using four constructs, namely, economical, environmental, ethical, and social. Subsequently a holistic definition with a model is proposed incorporating the four constructs for sustainability. Studies documenting sustainability practices across industries, namely, automobile, infrastructure, cement and concrete, electronics, mining, paper, pharmaceutical, and logistics were reviewed to validate the applicability of the proposed four construct model across different key industrial sectors. Findings – Current study validates the industry independence of the proposed four constructs of sustainability model through a literature review. Very few studies have documented industry-specific sustainability practices and much lesser have studied the ethical dimension of sustainability. Furthermore, the organizational strategic plan is developed for incorporating the environmental, economical, ethical, and social needs into the organizational business operations at the strategic, tactical, and the operational levels. Research limitations/implications – Proposed model needs to be applied in multiple case organizations from diverse sectors to evaluate its capacity to capture the aspects of sustainability across different sectors. Future study could attempt to understand the interrelationships between the identified constructs and how they impact each other within different industrial sectors. Practical implications – Model linked to organizational business operations at the strategic, tactical, and the operational levels helps in the alignment of the organizational activity towards the strategic intent of the organizational sustainability philosophy in the business ecology. It also helps in equipping the organization to achieve the operational excellence and the strategic business growth at the same time. Originality/value – Current study is unique in its attempt to understand the capability of proposed sustainability dimensions to capture the sustainability practices followed across different industrial sectors.

Journal

World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable DevelopmentEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 13, 2015

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