Hållbarhet inom industriföretag : En kvalitativ studie om industriföretags strategiska hållbarhetsarbete

Detta är en Uppsats för yrkesexamina på avancerad nivå från Karlstads universitet/Handelshögskolan (from 2013); Karlstads universitet/Handelshögskolan (from 2013)

Sammanfattning: The Earth is facing many complex challenges. Social gaps between poverty and wealth are continuously growing, climate changes threaten the planet as well as its living creatures and the irresponsible human consumption goes on. Sachs (2015) mentions these issues as contribution to today’s existing unsustainable world and further argues that companies should take more responsibilities in the transformation process into a more sustainable world, where Herremans and Nazari (2016) identify industrial companies as the ones that should be the most responsible for sustainable actions. Furthermore, Lueg and Radlach (2016) argue that the usage of control mechanisms is a critical component of strategic sustainability actions. However, previous research has focused less on explaining how companies strategically work with sustainability, why this study aims at developing a deeper understanding of how industrial companies strategically take sustainable actions. Through ten qualitative semi-structured interviews within six industrial companies the study aims to achieve its purpose, with help of Elkington’s (1999) concept Triple Bottom Line (containing the dimensions profit, planet and people) and Malmi and Brown’s (2008) theoretical model of control mechanisms. The study shows that the strategic sustainable actions taken by industrial companies tend to differ depending on how long they have actively been working with sustainability. Initially the companies base their strategic sustainable actions on economic benefits and external pressure such as legislation and governmental verdicts, while companies who have been working longer with sustainable actions tend to voluntarily base their work on long-term visions of economic returns on sustainable investments. Further, the study shows that the control mechanisms culture and administrative functions tend to generate the most impact on sustainable actions. While the administrative functions expect to be more effective when implementing great changes in processes or routines, the culture tends to, due to its low abilities to change, be more helpful in the maintenance of sustainable behavior and values.

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