Organizational responses to sustainable development challenges – conditions & consequences
Scientific Papers of Silesian University of Technology. Organization and Management Series
Purpose: The aim of the paper is to discuss assumptions that stand behind the idea that, in order to analyze a way in which organizations are willing to respond to environmental challenges, it is necessary to consider how the diffusion of knowledge related to sustainable management practices can impact on decision making dependent on managers' cognitive frames. The analysis is focused on the sensemaking process initiated by a necessity to make a decision on whether to engage in a sustainability
... in a sustainability project involving steps to be made to protect natural environment. The attention is paid to its possible realization dependent on cognitive frames used by decision makers. This way of analysis allows for better understanding of factors which may hinder enterprises from implementing sustainability idea. In the paper current literature related to the topic is reviewed and next selected issues considered as critical for understanding the matter are described and discussed. Design/methodology/approach: Theoretical analysis is conducted and the key assumptions of critical realism related to ontological and epistemological dimensions are implemented. The importance of abductive way of thinking is outlined. Findings: In general, it is argued that managers who are more likely to accept paradoxical nature of challenges related to the implementation of sustainability tools should find it more useful to follow multidimensional paths through which they may reach stakeholders. It is also presented that in order to show how decisions as to implement the sustainability idea can be made, it is necessary to take into account consequences that are to arise from the fact that attitudes towards sustainability management are influenced by historical conditions. Because of the wide array of actors who may contribute to the successful implementation of the sustainability idea, it is predicted that different cognitive approaches should be used. The arguments that are provided appear to also prove that it is useful to consider deeply relations among sensemaking process and cognitive frames used by managers. Originality/value: The paper includes an authorial analysis in which conclusions are inferred based on hitherto conducted research and formulated research propositions related to sensemaking process, cognitive aspects of making decisions as well as to issues of building legitimacy in the light of environmental challenges which modern enterprises need to deal with. The analysis can provide decision makers with some new insights as to why they make decisions as they used to, which next should allow them to change their habits.