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Mickelsson, Kristina
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Sundström, A., Ahmadi, Z. & Mickelsson, K. (2019). Implementing social sustainability for innovative industrial work environments. Sustainability, 11(12), Article ID 3402.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Implementing social sustainability for innovative industrial work environments
2019 (English)In: Sustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 11, no 12, article id 3402Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Industrial companies are in a situation that requires them to reconsider their social sustainability agenda in order to attract new employees. Building upon interviews with CEOs and HR managers in 20 small medium enterprises (SMEs), this study aims to analyze how high-tech companies and industrial engineering companies define and implement social sustainability into business strategies and operations. Data was collected from 20 interviews and secondary information coded for categorical data analysis in SPSS Statistics 22 software. The findings show that although the companies have adopted several kinds of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards, social sustainability is still absent from their operational activities and is considered of lower importance than environmental sustainability. Thus, the implementation of social sustainability can be considered symbolic rather substantive. The study also shows differences between the two groups of companies. The high-tech company group pays little attention to social sustainability aspects, instead focusing on product innovation development. While the industrial engineering group has some interest in social sustainability, their focus is primarily on issues linked to health and safety in order to meet increasing demands from supply chain compliance. Neglecting social aspects of sustainability, such as addressing gender equality and diversity, may cause difficulties in attracting a new workforce.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI AG, 2019
social sustainability; high-tech companies; industrial engineering companies; preparation; environmental sustainability
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Intelligent Industry
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-30567 (URN)10.3390/su11123402 (DOI)000473753700172 ()2-s2.0-85069766872 (Scopus ID)

Funding agency:

- University of Gävle

Available from: 2019-08-23 Created: 2019-08-23 Last updated: 2020-03-05Bibliographically approved

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