The nature of organizing: a relational approach to understanding business sustainability

Jason Good*, Andrea Thorpe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Organizational and natural phenomena mutually constitute one another through time and across space. Yet the current management literature that involves both organizational and natural phenomena is piecemeal and dualistic. In being piecemeal, domains are disconnected, and in being dualistic, they tend to assume that organizations and nature are separate and opposing. This article addresses these issues by developing an analytical framework of the relations that mutually constitute organizational and natural phenomena, while couching the effort in the burgeoning sustainability management literature. The framework development process produces four types of relations that mutually constitute organizational and natural phenomena: here-now, here-then, there-now, and there-then relations. The article then uses this framework to connect disparate domains of the organizational literature that involve natural phenomena. Ultimately, the article suggests an overarching proposition for further research, as well as practical questions for organizations to consider in order to better manage their relations with the natural world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-383
Number of pages25
JournalOrganization and Environment
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Resilience
  • Sustainability disclosure and reporting
  • Process models
  • Stakeholder theory

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