Toward Cognitive Plurality on Corporate Sustainability in Organizations: The Role of Organizational Factors
Organization & Environment, 28(3): 255-263, doi: 10.1177/1086026615604446.
9 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2015
Date Written: 2015
There is a growing body of literature that looks into the role of individual decision-makers’ cognition and interpretations of corporate sustainability issues for understanding corporate responses to sustainability. At the same time, the sustainability strategy of many firms is dominated by a business case approach that marginalizes alternatives views and interpretations of organizational members on sustainability issues. More adequate responses to sustainability challenges might require that firms allow for a greater plurality of views among organizational members to trickle up and inform corporate decision making on sustainability. We argue that such a cognitive plurality on sustainability in organizations can be generative for sustainability strategies but depends on a range of organizational level factors such empowerment, team participation, corporate climate, and decentralization. Cognitive plurality will also emphasize emergent strategy formation and the acceptance of tensions and conflict around different sustainability views. We encourage future research on corporate sustainability to further investigate the role and importance of cognitive plurality.
Keywords: Corporate sustainability, plurality, organizational climate, decentralization, empowerment, team participation, emergent strategies
JEL Classification: M14
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