Sustainability: Implications for Organizations

Sustainability refers to an organization’s ability to deliver enduring performance and thus continue to exist over time. In this regard, performance refers not only to a company’s financial results. Sustainability applies to a wide range of organizations (e.g., businesses, not-for-profit organizations, nongovernmental organizations) and encompasses performance in the economic/financial, social, and environmental domains. This conceptualization of sustainability—which includes the notion that the three different aspects of organizational performance are interconnected and equally important for long-term survival of an organization—has been described as the “triple bottom line.” Over the last 3 decades, research in the organizational sciences as well as applied practice has focused on the social aspects of organizational performance, such as employee welfare, community outreach, and charitable involvement. Most recently, climate change and ensuing ...

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