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If a business cannot receive the necessary support from management, then the longevity of the sustainability process is damaged (Berns et al, 2009).Wilkinson, Hill and Golan (2001) accentuate this cruciality of senior management by proffering that internal pressures arise throughout a change management process if senior management does not provide the necessary support.If a business cannot receive this support, it is then recommended that the push for organisational change and sustainability implementation must come from middle- management in a catalytic approach (Stoughton and Ludema, 2012; Mirvis and Manga, 2010).
Extensively, this paper will outline the importance of corporate sustainability, then confirm the idea that literature revolving around sustainability, and its development throughout businesses, is contradictory (Stoughton & Ludema, 2012).
From this, the drivers and barriers for corporate sustainability will then be discussed, while drawing on multiple human resource management theories which attempt to explain the processes of organisational change.
These two approaches exemplify and confirm that the current literature on corporate sustainability is contradictory and inconsistent.
Drivers for Corporate Sustainability The first driver for sustainability identified for the purposes of this paper is competitiveness, and ultimately achieving competitve advantage (Bansal & Roth, 2000).
Borland (2009) asserts that the culture and implementation of sustainability is a process which begins from the influences of senior-management in a top-down approach.
Conversely, Martin (1992) expresses that the culture of change and sustainability is intrinsically embedded within fragmented groups of employees who share commonalities and values, individualistically.The relevant literature in the field of corporate sustainability has drawn an inextricable link between a businesses capacity to manage the concerns of the environment concurrently with its product supply chain (White & Lee, 2009).This link is said to outline one basis for corporate sustainability.They argue that a top-down management approach proliferates the prospects of success in sustainability, as they allow for employee empowerment and support.This approach, now, has indirectly confirmed Borland’s (2009) theory that sustainability can be a successful process which will thrive with the support and leadership of senior management.They then go forward by declaring that this can be reversed economically by internalising processes of ecological and ‘green’ sustainability.Stoughton and Ludema (2012) proffer that the literature is inconsistent and contradictory when discussing corporate sustainability.Ultimately, it can be noted that corporate sustainability has become a continual focal point for modern businesses, stakeholders, and individuals, and the process for change to implement sustainability heavily relies on the influence of senior management.The Concept and Literature of Sustainability Gladwin, Kennelly and Krause (1995) ascertain that a society which is successfully sustainable can outlast the physical and natural demands of society for generations.Dyllick and Hockerts (2002) convey a three-dimensional model to sustainability, identifying that economic sustainability, environmental sustainability and social sustainability are all aspects of change which must be accounted for in order to understand the short term and long term benefits of change to sustainability.If senior management cannot understand the risks/implications of change, then they cannot extend their support. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 21(12): 1492–1502.