Building Sustainable Organizations: The Human Factor

28 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2010

See all articles by Jeffrey Pfeffer

Jeffrey Pfeffer

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 1, 2010


Although most of the research and public pressure concerning sustainability has been focused on the effects of business and organizational activity on the physical environment, companies and their management practices profoundly affect the human and social environment as well. This article briefly reviews the literature on the direct and indirect effects of organizations and their decisions about people on human health and mortality. It then considers some possible explanations for why social sustainability has received relatively short shrift in management writing, and outlines a research agenda for investigating the links between social sustainability and organizational effectiveness as well as the role of ideology in understanding the relative neglect of the human factor in sustainability research.

Keywords: human resources management

JEL Classification: M50

Suggested Citation

Pfeffer, Jeffrey, Building Sustainable Organizations: The Human Factor (January 1, 2010). Stanford University Graduate School of Business Research Paper No. 2017 (R), Available at SSRN: or

Jeffrey Pfeffer (Contact Author)

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics