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Case Studies in Sustainability Management and Strategy

The oikos collection

Edited by Jost Hamschmidt

With the rapidly growing importance of sustainability and corporate responsibility in a globalised world, management schools are increasingly integrating long-term economic, environmental and social issues into their teaching and research. Climate change, poverty, labour standards and human rights are among the many topics that future decision-makers will need to face in their careers. Business education needs to reflect this new reality and provide a broadened understanding of value creation in order to create economic capital while developing social and preserving natural capital. Many sustainability trends also offer interesting new business opportunities that are ripe for entrepreneurial thinking.

Case studies can be important tools for creating learning processes on different levels – students are forced to struggle with exactly the kinds of decisions and dilemmas managers confront every day. In this reflection of reality, the values and goals of the student are systematically challenged. This can be especially valuable in the context of sustainability and strategy – organisations are now continually forced to value the different aspects of sustainability and their interrelations: How do social issues impact the economic bottom line? How can an environmentally sound strategy create a positive impact on employee motivation and thus have measurable impact on economic performance? What comes first and why?

But excellent case studies for management education in the field of sustainability management and strategy are rare. This innovative collection has been produced to fill this gap. It is based on the winning cases of an annual competition organised by oikos – the international Student Organization for Sustainable Economics and Management. So what makes an excellent case in sustainability management? These cases have been highly praised because they provide excellent learning opportunities, tell engaging stories, deal with recent situations, include quotations from key actors, are thought-provoking and controversial, require decision-making, provide clear take-aways and are all supported by teaching guidance and comprehensive teaching notes available to faculty .

These cases explore both the opportunities and pitfalls companies and NGOs face in targeting sustainability issues and how their values and core assumptions impact their business strategies. They deal with a myriad of issues including supply chain management, stakeholder dialogue, social entrepreneurship, sustainable marketing, ethics, governance, the business case for sustainability, partnerships, purchasing and climate change.

Case Studies in Sustainability Management and Strategy is an essential purchase for educators and is likely to be a widely used as a course textbook at all levels of management education.

A ready resource for any instructor… a broad range of important contemporary issues in sustainability

Tima Bansal, Richard Ivey School of Business

From 2002 to 2012 JOST HAMSCHMIDT served as academic director of the oikos foundation for Economy and Ecology and pioneered its international academic programmes including the oikos Global Case Writing Competition.

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