11 22 - Lecture Notes - Sustainability.docx

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Western University
Management and Organizational Studies
Management and Organizational Studies 1021A/B

Reference Article Up to 6 pages – 1.5 space, 12 font, 2.5 cm margins, APA, 6-10 references (3 journal articles) Sustainability  Meaning?  Environmental origin (if you are a social activist)  Economic origin (if you are a business person)  Present usage? The pig.  Sustainability o Personal sustainability  The way work is or isn’t meaningful – stress imbalance o Organizational sustainability  Economics – finding a way to make things add up o Societal sustainability  Protests – increase quality in society o Environmental sustainability The Environment  Is this the most important issue in business and management o Most people would say no – they’re there and they have to be dealt with, but they’re not our business  Or the most important in the context of business and management?  Like ‘diversity’ as a management topic o Social justice perspective  While businesses would see this as seeing this as… while being a good corporate citizen, we don’t want to make the world crap-tacular. Just like everyone “has to” give to the United Way  Morals  Take something like banks – dominated by white men and say “We don’t have women or minorities, so we should make these boards inclusive” o Strategic perspective  Market share, market growth, competitive advantage  This can be a poor business focus  Take something like banks – dominated by white men and say “We should introduce women or minorities because it’ll make us more accessible to customers” Money money money o These two are related – it starts social “We should pick up litter because it’s the right thing” and turns strategic “This makes us look good” o Mainstream vs. Multistream o Relation to stockholder and stakeholder models of management and governance Environmental Problems  The context… o Watch the news – there are so many massive environmental issues we’re facing now  Does anyone really not know major environmental issues that we are facing?  This will go down in your lifetime. Get ready Environmental Impacts of Business  Business – issues of production o Unclean production, ‘by-products’, greenhouse gas, toxins, non-renewable resources, ‘renewable’ resources (being used too quickly that they can’t be renewed quickly enough)  Business – issues of consumption o Overconsumption, waste production, ‘affluenza’ o Example of houses and garages  not being able to fit a car in the garage  Frequent ‘green critique’ – The market system itself is the problem, businesses cannot be environmental sustainable Affluenza  From “affluence” and “influenza”  An epidemic of stress, overwork, waste and indebtedness caused by the pursuit of the material wealth  An unsustainable addiction to economic growth  British psychologist Oliver James o Stress and mental health issues more correlated with the pursuit of wealth, and with economically unequal societies o “If the economy has been doing so well, why are we not becoming happier?” o Increased wealth ≠increased happiness  Going from poverty to wealth makes people happy – having a room over their head, etc. But the pursuit of wealth does not make people happy and is related to stress and mental health issues Model Environmental Impact of Business/Organization  The “ecological footprint” concept o Wackernagel and Rees o Direct and indirect production and consumption of energy and materials per unit of production o “Carbon footprint” compared to “food miles” in retailing  Global trade is not negative, per say o In Europe, alongside the nutritional information, is an environmental statement – the miles traveled, energy required to make them  redirects sales The Story of Stuff  “Our enormously productive economy… Demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption… We need things consumed, burned up, replaced…”  Annie Leonard says our whole economy is based on the idea of “obsolescence”. What is that about? Examples? Evolution of the Idea: Business and Environment  Four major eras, each begun by an influential book o Each era has a ‘main theme”, a modality and a remedy Era 1  “Silent Spring” Era: 1962 – 1987  About spraying pesticides – one day we’d wake up on a beautiful spring morning to silence because all the birds are dead, bitch  Original era of environmentalism  Environmentalism and business were fighting o If environmentalism was going to win, it was going to shut a business down o Imagine a teeter totter Era 2  “Our Common Future” Era: 1989 – 1997  We have to figure out, not how to get the environment to triumph  About sustainable development  Business and environment are two sides of the same coin – we need to work together to fix problems and go forward positively  Symmetrical – hold your arms above your head  This ended up in a lot of talking and reports Era 3  “Triple Bottom Line” era: 1998 – Present  Stakeholder vs. stockholder  Planned economies
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