Introduction to the special issue: Integrating sustainability in business models

Jorge A. Arevalo, Itziar Castelló, Simone De Colle, Gilbert Lenssen, Kerstin Neumann, Maurizio Zollo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to introduce this special issue, conceptualized and realized by a group of scholars engaged in the Global Organizational Learning and Development Network (GOLDEN) for Sustainability programme. It aims to adopt the overarching research question of the GOLDEN research programme “How do firms learn to integrate and manage sustainability in their business models, including their organizational purpose, strategy, processes, systems and culture?” as the guiding principle for case selection. Design/methodology/approach – The paper first presents the key ideas underpinning the previous research question and illustrates the research approach and agenda of GOLDEN for Sustainability. Second, it introduces the eight case studies presented in this special issue. Findings – The cases offer good illustrations of the ongoing transition by both medium-sized and multinational corporations dealing with learning and change challenges posed by the identification and management of sustainability issues. The selected cases represent firms operating in diverse contexts and industries, and are developed by scholars specializing in various fields connected to corporate responsibility and sustainability. Originality/value – The paper presents cases of organizations that have made sense of the sustainability challenge and also the different approaches taken to tackle the challenge, and the results stemming from their efforts.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)941-954
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Management Development
    Issue number10
    StatePublished - Oct 25 2011


    • Business development
    • Learning organizations
    • Modelling
    • Sustainable development

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
    • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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