Sustainable development and organizational learning: mutually supportive?
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The author uses a tridimensional approach to sustainable development in organizations which includes social, economic and environmental dimensions. This approach is consistent with the Brundtland Commission Report, United Nations notion and views of various authors that economic growth, social equity, and environmental maintenance arc simultaneously achievable. Creating a learning organization is one strategy to improve organizational performance and maintain long-term sustainable competitive advantage. Organizational learning includes creating, retaining and transferring knowledge to benefit individuals, groups and organizations. There are clear and definite links between sustainable development and organizational learning. Within the context of a tridimensional approach to sustainable development, organizational learning needs to address the implications of balancing the demands of sustainable development and at the same time deal with the dynamic complexity of the current business reality at local, national and global levels. Sustainable development is not maintaining the status quo but a continuous process of co-evolution within a changing environment. This needs a dynamic process underpinned by organizational learning to create new approaches, structures and policies. In this paper the author discusses the links between sustainable development and organizational learning and describes practical strategies and activities which managers and practitioners can implement to enhance SD and organizational learning.
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