A Sensemaking Approach to Trade-Offs and Synergies Between Human and Ecological Elements of Corporate Sustainability

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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 human-ecological relationship differ by group, containing different mixes of trade-offs and synergies between the non-financial elements of corporate sustainability. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
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