A sensemaking approach to trade-offs and synergies between human and ecological elements of corporate sustainability

John Wiley & Sons
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Business Strategy and the Environment, 2010, 19 (4), pp. 230 - 244
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This paper considers the complex relationships between the human and ecological elements of sustainability that exist in the minds of stakeholders and argues that a sensemaking approach allows these to be better understood and compared. This is supported by the results of a study, set in a financial institution, exploring the relationships between these non-financial elements of corporate sustainability. The viewpoints of middle management, branch and contact centre employees, executives, a community consultative council, suppliers and a community partner of a large Australian bank obtained in in-depth interviews are analysed and compared utilizing an innovative methodology of semantic analysis. We find that these stakeholders' perceptions of the humanecological relationship differ by group, containing different mixes of trade-offs and synergies between the non-financial elements of corporate sustainability
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