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Resistance to sustainability in organisations: Analyses of the importance of sustainability barriers to change
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Development, IT and Land Management, Industrial economics. University of Gävle, Center for Logistics and Innovative Production. (Centrum för logistik och innovativ produktion, Center for Logistics and Innovative Production)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1441-7555
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Development, IT and Land Management, Industrial economics. University of Gävle, Center for Logistics and Innovative Production.
2018 (English)In: EurOMA 2018 Proceedings, 2018Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Organisations in civil society, companies, and governments contexts have been instrumental in driving sustainability. Organisational change for sustainability aims to move an organisation from the current state to a more desirable one. An increasing body of literature has been focussed on organisational changes, including drivers for and barriers to sustainability. This paper focusses on analysing factors of sustainability resistance in organisations. A survey was sent to more than 1500 organisations to analyse sustainability barriers to change, of which 73 completed all the questions. The survey responses were analysed using descriptive statistics, rankings in order of importance, comparison between types of organisations, and analyses of the interlinkages between drivers. The statistical methods and tests used were Friedman, Kruskall-Wallis, Mann Whitney U, principal component analysis, and network analysis. The barriers to sustainability were ranked in order of importance within their category: individual-, group- and organisational. Most important barriers we found to be lack of information and awareness, sustainability not being prioritised highly, and simple cynicism. On a group level, the most important barrier was ‘ignoring group institutions’ . On the organisation level, barriers such as financial issues, and a lack of resources, incentives and accountability were considered very important. Although a very higher number of barriers were included in the survey, they numbers were reduced to 20 using a principal component analysis. The analysis shows that many barriers are highly interlinked within their categories. Further analysis shows that many of the barriers are highly interlinked across categories, indicating that efforts at overcoming the barriers should be done in a holistic way. This paper shows that barriers to change will affect organisations in different ways depending on their goals and contexts. This paper provides depth to the sustainability barriers to change discussion by: 1) expanding it to the three types of organisations; 2) providing the importance of each barrier; 3) offering a ranking of the barriers in general and for each type of organisation; 4) analysing the relations between barriers and grouping them according to their correlations; and 5) showing the relations between the barriers’ groups. This research highlights that it is important to recognise which barriers have the highest importance and influence for each type of organisation, in order to overcome them and make organisations more sustainable. Identifying the barriers to change can help to apply appropriate strategies to overcome them, thus helping to better incorporate and institutionalise sustainability in organisations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
National Category
Economics and Business Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-27567OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-27567DiVA, id: diva2:1232012
Conference
European Operations Management Association conference (EUROMA) 2018 "To Serve, to Produce and to Servitize in the Era of Networks, Big Data, and Analytics", 24-26 June 2018, Budapest, Hungary
Available from: 2018-07-10 Created: 2018-07-10 Last updated: 2018-09-03Bibliographically approved

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Lozano, Rodrigovon Haartman, Robin

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