Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Sustainability exploration and sustainability exploitation: from a literature review towards a conceptual framework
University of Maribor, Slovenia .
University of Maribor, Slovenia .
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Quality Technology and Management. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Lund University, Sweden .
Show others and affiliations
2014 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, Vol. 79, 182-194 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Theoretical and empirical research often points to a positive relation between corporate sustainability and organisational performance; however, attempts to conceptualise the multi-dimensional nature of sustainability practices are rare in the current literature. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to present a conceptual framework to aid in understanding and explaining the relationship between sustainability practices and organisational performance. The concepts of exploitation and exploration are adopted to distinguish between different types of sustainability practices. The research model is then analysed in terms of different outcomes related to sustainability performance, quality performance and business performance. Based on an interdisciplinary perspective, this paper suggests a new approach for the discussion of corporate sustainability and its implications for the organisational context. The results of the research suggest that the organisation may place a stronger focus on developing new sustainability-centred competencies when it is faced with an uncertain and rapidly changing environment. In contrast, efficiency and responsiveness to various stakeholders expectations and demands might dominate in highly competitive environments. The primary conclusion of this paper is that the alternative relationships between sustainability practices (exploitation and exploration) and organisational performance depend on different factors, including environmental uncertainty, competitiveness, long-term orientation and institutional approaches. These arguments indicate that managers in resource-constrained contexts may benefit from focusing on the management of trade-offs between sustainability exploration and sustainability exploitation demands; however, for long-term success, the simultaneous pursuit of exploration and exploitation is both desirable and necessary.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2014. Vol. 79, 182-194 p.
Keyword [en]
Corporate sustainability; Exploration; Exploitation; Conceptual framework; Quality management; Organisational performance
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-110959DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.05.045ISI: 000340987700018OAI: diva2:752283
Available from: 2014-10-03 Created: 2014-10-01 Last updated: 2015-01-20

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(790 kB)339 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT03.pdfFile size 790 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Dahlgaard, Jens Jörn
By organisation
Quality Technology and ManagementThe Institute of Technology
In the same journal
Journal of Cleaner Production
Mechanical Engineering

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 414 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 314 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link