Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Universities as Learning Organizations for Sustainability? The Task of Climate Protection

Leal Filho, W. (Ed.) (2010): Universities and Climate Change: Introducing Climate Change at University Programmes. Climate Change Management Vol. 1. Berlin: Springer, 179-192

23 Pages Posted: 27 May 2012  

Florian Lüdeke-Freund

University of Hamburg, Chair of Capital Markets and Management; Leuphana University, Centre for Sustainability Management (CSM)

Simon Burandt

Leuphana University of Lueneburg - Dept. of Sustainability Sciences

Date Written: May 26, 2012

Abstract

Purpose: For two decades the Leuphana University of Lüneburg addresses socio-ecological issues in research, education and administration. To realize projects like “Agenda 21 and University of Lüneburg” (1999), “Sustainable University” (2004) and its mission statement of “Carbon Neutral University” (2007) entails non-trivial organizational changes. Creating an authentic “Carbon Neutral University” induces multi-level learning and decision problems within the organization. Concepts of organizational learning are considered as most promising approaches to analyze and understand sustainability oriented projects.

Design/methodology/approach: Past, present and future sustainability projects are explored. An organizational learning perspective is applied to identify specific phases and mechanisms of organizational developments towards realizing the university’s mission statements. Empirical facts are discussed against the theoretical background of organizational learning.

Findings: From an organizational learning perspective, formalized and shared knowledge are necessary but insufficient preconditions for complex sustainability related activities in universities. If universities follow demanding mission statements they have to continuously trigger individuals’ willingness and ability to learn, generate new kinds of knowledge and contribute to organizational problem solving.

Originality/value: A conceptual perspective is developed for organizational learning in complex fields like sustainable development.

Keywords: organizational learning, change management, sustainable development, carbon neutral university, photovoltaic

JEL Classification: I20, L30

Suggested Citation

Lüdeke-Freund, Florian and Burandt, Simon, Universities as Learning Organizations for Sustainability? The Task of Climate Protection (May 26, 2012). Leal Filho, W. (Ed.) (2010): Universities and Climate Change: Introducing Climate Change at University Programmes. Climate Change Management Vol. 1. Berlin: Springer, 179-192. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2066974

Florian Lüdeke-Freund (Contact Author)

Leuphana University, Centre for Sustainability Management (CSM) ( email )

Faculty of Sustainability
Scharnhorststr. 1
Lüneburg, 21335
Germany

University of Hamburg, Chair of Capital Markets and Management ( email )

Faculty of Business, Economics & Social Sciences
Von-Melle-Park 9
Hamburg, 20146
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.SustainableBusinessModel.org

Simon Burandt

Leuphana University of Lueneburg - Dept. of Sustainability Sciences ( email )

Scharnhorststrasse 1
Lüneburg, 21314
Germany

Paper statistics

Downloads
45
Abstract Views
327