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Corporate Sustainability as a Foresight Activity: Can Corporate Sustainability help companies survive in an increasingly competitive environment?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Industrial Engineering & Management. (Industriell teknik)
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In many corporations, sustainability has become an important activity to focuson, with the aim of preparing corporations for the future. Foresight, a newerfield, is increasingly becoming an important activity of corporations, with thepurpose of surviving long-term. These motives make companies’ involvement with corporate sustainability and with corporate foresight fundamental. However, because foresight is a recent field, it implies processes that are less mastered by professionals than sustainability.

Since the motives of corporate sustainability and corporate foresight are similar, the purpose of this thesis is therefore to understand if corporate sustainability can contribute to corporate foresight implementation. Specifically, the purpose of this thesis is to identify which corporate sustainability (CS) activities can be integrated to which corporate foresight (CF) activities, to facilitate and foster foresight.

Consequently, the contributions of the research consist in extending the knowledge about sustainability as a foresight activity and in proposing suggestions to incorporate sustainability to foresight activities.

This study reviews several CS frameworks and several CF frameworks, provides a deeper understanding of the underlying processes needed for the implementation of CS and CF, and identifies the similarities. The study specifically builds on the Maturity Model of Corporate Foresight from the book Corporate Foresight – Towards a Maturity Model for the Future Orientation of a Firm from Rohrbeck (2010). Based on the theoretical findings, qualitative interviews of sustainability professionals are carried out. Those interviews are meant to test the theoretical findings.

The research provides knowledge on the management of corporate foresightby providing insights on foresight practices that benefit from incorporating sustainability practices. The conclusion of the paper consists in a model thatpresents explicit ways in which corporate sustainability contributes tocorporate foresight. In fact, it is shown that corporate sustainability fosters strong internal and external networks and creates a corporate culture favourable to change. Internal and external networks facilitate cross-functional collaboration and communication; and employees favourable to change are more open to new ideas; both being key for foresight implementation. Thus, Corporate Sustainability supports Corporate Foresight because it sets up a favourable corporate culture, and because it paves the way for appropriate work processes (internal and external collaboration for instance).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 78
Series
TVE-MILI ; 19024
Keywords [en]
corporate foresight, corporate sustainability
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-385760OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-385760DiVA, id: diva2:1325677
External cooperation
Rohrbeck Heger GmbH
Educational program
Master Programme in Industrial Management and Innovation
Presentation
2019-05-28, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 10:30 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-06-18 Created: 2019-06-17 Last updated: 2019-06-18Bibliographically approved

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