Sustainability Transitions: An Investigation of the Conditions under Which Corporations Are Likely To Reshape Their Practices to Reverse Environmental Degradation

Samantha Petersen, Clifford Shearing, Deon Nel


Increasing levels of the unsustainable use of natural resources have been widely reported. In this paper we argue that engaging private sector corporations to address environmental risks is crucial to solving many of the key environmental challenges humans face. We investigate the enabling conditions under which private sector corporates act to reshape their business. To explore the nature of these enabling conditions we build on conceptual framing drawn from organizational theory and apply this framing to a case study of the South African food and beverage sector. This paper considers the role of awareness in bringing about the changes required, the motivation of those engaged with the key issues, pathways for change and explores the role of rewards. It further investigates the relationship between these four variables (awareness, motivation, pathway and reward) and describes a set of design principles to inform initiatives to bring about change in this context. 

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Copyright (c) 2014 Samantha Petersen, Clifford Shearing, Deon Nel

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Environmental Management and Sustainable Development  ISSN 2164-7682

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