Interdisciplinarity for Sustainable Business
Chapter 1 in Beate Sjåfjell, Roseanne Russell and Maja van der Velden (eds), Interdisciplinary Research for Sustainable Business: Perspectives of Women Business Scholars (Springer, in print 2022)
19 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2022 Last revised: 8 Dec 2022
Date Written: February 10, 2022
In this introductory chapter, we first situate this volume in the larger context of sustainability and the different forms of corporate sustainability. Supported by the literature, we argue that corporate sustainability is often weak sustainability, where sustainability issues are sought integrated into business rather than positioning business within sustainability. Drawing on a research-based understanding of sustainability, we propose the following definition of sustainable business: A business is sustainable when it, in aggregate, contributes to securing the social foundations for humanity, now and for the future, within planetary boundaries. We then focus on the role of interdisciplinarity for sustainable business research. We present the Daughters of Themis Network and its call for papers, which focused on moving beyond the widely accepted acknowledgement of the need for interdisciplinarity and instead to explore how interdisciplinarity can be brought into effect. We briefly present the contributions in this volume, organised in three parts, Reflections, Theory, and Practice. The chapters present the depth and variety of interdisciplinary business research. We conclude with a call for strong interdisciplinarity in sustainable business research to overcome the limitations of our disciplines and to work towards the development of new methodologies and new knowledge to further sustainable business.
Keywords: Daughters of Themis Network; Modes of interdisciplinarity; Planetary Boundaries framework; Strong interdisciplinary; Strong sustainability
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