POSTED: August 13, 2018
Economy | Politics & Enterprise

Business Strategies Beyond Growth

Improving Health and Well-being in Society: How Can Organizations Help? — CUSP co-hosting workshops at 78th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management | Chicago, Illinois, USA
10-14 August 2018

Sawyer Bengtson /

In the context of limitations on growth, and an emphasis on sustainability, businesses need to rethink how they operate. This was the challenge being explored in workshops at the Academy of Management in Chicago, the largest global gathering of management and business scholars.

While most management researchers are not considering these issues, there is interest in sustainability issues related to themes of Organizations and the Natural Environment and Social Issues in Management, as well has a healthy search for sustainable alternatives in the Critical Management Studies streams. CUSP Deputy Director Fergus Lyon was involved in leading two workshops that search for alternatives:

In the Strategy Beyond Growth workshop on Saturday 11th August, working with Andre Reichel (Germany), Robert Perey (Australia), Lena Olaison (Denmark) and Glen Dowell (US). The workshop explored ways of organising the economy when growth is harder to achieve and sustain. This requires different forms of measurements of success that go beyond valuing short term growth.

Measuring social impact was the focus of another CUSP workshop on Friday 10th August. Fergus led the workshop with John Mahon and Jennifer Griffin from the US, Karen Maas from Netherlands and Wendy Stubbs from Australia. This workshop explored what types of impacts and values can be measured and what organisations need to do to build their capacity to assess their social, environmental as well as financial performance.

These workshops showed the enormous task of developing strategies for business that put the social and environmental objectives first. While there is much thought put into critiques of current business, we need to keep working on understanding what the alternative business strategies may be. More updates from this stream of our work will follow shortly.

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