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  • 1.
    Sundström, Agneta
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Business and Economic Studies, Business administration.
    Ahmadi, Zahra
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Business and Economic Studies, Business administration.
    Mickelsson, Kristina
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Business and Economic Studies, Business administration.
    Implementing social sustainability for innovative industria lwork environments2019In: Sustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 11, no 12, article id 3402Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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