The essence of sustainable development is that the development of the current generation does not go against the interests of future generations. In the classical definition, people understand the balance between ages as the balance of needs, and they interpret the word “needs” in different ways. Firstly, we can talk about the ability to satisfy the requirements in the context of natural resources. That means that we must leave the same amount of resources to future generations that we have so that they can meet their needs with these resources.
Secondly, we can talk about the ability to satisfy the needs as a standard of living. That means that for future generations it should be at least the same as the standard of living of our age. At the same time, people do not need to achieve this, thanks to the availability of natural resources. For example, now we can invest natural resources in the development of human capital and knowledge, and future generations will provide a higher standard of living due to an increase in knowledge. Two of these interpretations laid the foundation for two branches of sustainable development – the concepts of strong and weak sustainability.
Emotionally Sustainable Change: Two Frameworks to Assist with Transition
Change management is one of the critical factors for the successful implementation of the quality system and the development of the organization as a whole. As Leybourne (2016, p. 24) claims, “organizations are attempting to cope with increasingly turbulent and uncertain environments, and those organizations that resolve such challenges more effectively are perceived to be more sustainable.” In management, there are a vast number of tools that help employees move through the transition. Emotional support for employees in organizations is significant. Since large companies regularly undergo some changes and movements of employees between different departments, it is essential to facilitate this process.
The turbulent corporate environment is forcing modern companies to become more efficient and increase demands on employees, which leads to emotional stress. Also, Leybourne (2016, p. 39) states: “Those organizations that recognize the conflicting tensions inherent in managing change, and in particular, the difficulties of managing the transition through change scenarios, may have an advantage.” Indeed, many companies that help their employees cope with the transition and behavioral difficulties benefit. As research shows, emotionally stable employees are copying with constant changes with higher productivity.
Leading Change toward Sustainability
In addition to reliable employees, the company’s work in the face of constant changes requires an understanding of the concept of sustainability. As Doppelt correctly and accurately noted (2017, p. 53): “Sustainability is about protecting our options.” This statement requests the establishment of a new economic concept; it is necessary to find such a way for companies to work stably for decades without harming the environment and society. Many people in business now believe that synthetic products can replace the benefits that nature supplies us with from the very beginning.
Unfortunately, this replacement is impossible; in reality, our society and economy are entirely dependent on natural resources. “Protecting our options” means the development of the economy and community to such a level that the balance of natural resources remains unchanged. However, for large corporations, this example shows that real business and management development should occur without causing damage to subsequent transactions.
Marketing in The Age of Sustainable Change
Nowadays, marketing is not just about selling certain products to the customer; an essential part of the represented field is the analysis of the needs and wants of the client. Also, companies strive to retain existing customers by meeting their needs and attract new people through quality advertising. Therefore, such involved and rapidly changing conditions force corporations to evolve and change regularly. As Tukker and Charter (2018, p. 118) specify, “Sustainable development is a kind of development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Such a system of change and development exists not only to increase sales but also to gain customer confidence and maintain stable relations with the client.
Change Management and Healthcare
Management elements exist not only in large corporations and the economic sphere but also in state institutions, for example, in healthcare. New leadership and management styles are necessary tools for developing a cost-effective healthcare sector. Van Rossum and Aij (2016, p. 490) claim, “organizational elements such as behavior, procedures, systems, and structures can be adjusted so that lean principles can be implemented across functions and silos and total processes are optimized.” Indeed, understanding of the psychological processes of employees can be beneficial for the development of lean healthcare.
The Significance of Organizational Change Management for Sustainable Competitiveness
Since each organization has its leadership and submission style, several archetypes of companies existing in a rapidly changing market can be distinguished. May and Stahl (2016, p. 13) represent these types “Performers are the most aggressive companies that show high performance in both change management instances, while Sleepers have low aggressiveness paired with low change management practices.” Making a competitive advantage over strategic performance based on sustainability is more complicated than just adding up diverse vital action programs. Changes should express the company’s structure, its product system, its culture, and its vision.
The Relationship between ERP Strategy and Change Management
Resource planning is one of the most critical parts of a policy of sustainable change. As Park (2018, p. 14) writes in the article, “Change management factors and organizational change does not have direct effects on adaptation to business change.” This statement shows that even with constant changes, the long-term impact on adaptation to new conditions will not be critical with the right planning of strategy and resources.
The Relationship between Sustainability Reporting and Organisational Change Management
Also, an essential part of changes in company policy is the planning of organizational issues and reporting. According to Lozano’s and Nummert’s (2016, p. 180) paper, “Planning organizational change for sustainability and organizational change for sustainability improve the reporting process.” Indeed, a well-planned strategy and a reporting system can adapt to the transition and changing period as short and easy as possible. While long-term changes in the organizational structure, planning is a critical tool that every employee should know how to use.
Learning on Change Management for Ecodesign Transition
Apart from many other areas of the economy, ecology and design also use sustainable change policies. Scientists involved in the development of transition strategies believe that, first of all, it is necessary to use softer and more flexible approaches to change management, especially for employees (Brones and Carvalho, 2017). The company’s maturity in ecodesign helps overcome barriers in the transition to more modern management practices. The evolution of change management methods, together with the application of theoretical knowledge, helps companies grow faster.
Change Management through Leadership
Changes in the structure of a company often cannot occur without changes in management or at least without changes in leadership style. For example, Al-Ali and Singh (2017, p. 735) state, “Change leadership positively and significantly impacts the three dimensions of organizational culture, clan, adhocracy, and hierarchy, as well as both dimensions of change management in public-sector organizations.” Studies confirm that hierarchical culture in companies more often helps to overcome difficulties associated with changes in the company’s ideology. The replacement of the leader improves corporate culture and successfully adapts employees to upcoming changes.
Change Management in Hard Times
Unfortunately, often changes in the economic structure do not go without cutbacks and reducing wages. In Van der Voet’s and Vermeeren’s (2016, p. 18) research stated that “Implementing cutbacks may decrease organizational commitment among employees.” The main task of employers in the conditions of the implementation of reductions will be to pay attention to employees and, if possible, to help laid-off employees. Strengthening the public ideology of the company and uniting employees with parallel tasks and deeds will also help the employer to maintain the reputation and respect of employees.
Learning Approach to Change
An understanding of management mechanisms is necessary for implementing changes in companies. Employees who are engaged in the development of organizations must continuously learn and discover new ways of management. As Brulin and Svensson (2016, p. 79) claim in the book, “Steering requires knowledge about goals, requirements, process, outcomes, results, and effects.” Although the development of the company is a complex process with specific issues, the leader’s task is not to abandon the new policy but to take advantage of previous mistakes and make the steering more flexible. Leaders should learn and train others all the time to motivate employees and help them cope with innovations.
The Theory and Practice of Change Management
Besides, an essential part of sustainable change is maintaining innovation. So, if you make changes too often and direct them to a rapid increase in profit or influence, then these innovations can pass quickly. However, sustainability can be related to performance and development (Hayes, 2018). If the company needs to increase the product yield promptly, then it takes advantage of urgent changes with a short-term effect. Still, if the organization focuses on long-term prospects, then adjustments are made slowly and after careful planning.
Appreciative Inquiry for Change Management
The verbal influence of the leader on employees and partners in the process of change plays an important role. Many people endowed with specific qualities but subordinated feel deprived and left out while leaders make critical decisions. In this case, companies must issue orders in a dialogue format and create the illusion of choice and influence among employees (Lewis and Cantore, 2016). Moreover, decision-makers should have persuasion skills and well-delivered speech, such insignificant at first glance things will help their wards go through difficult times.
Techniques of Organizational Change
In the practical application of the method of sustainable change, an essential component is a model for implementing change. One of the most popular and effective models is the Embedding Framework. This methodology helps companies implement desired changes in the organization and not just add them on.
However, there are several phases in the Framework:
- Connect outward
- Engage leaders
- Build readiness
- Shape identity
- Manage talent
- Assign responsibility
- Access progress
The use of the presented Framework in management helps to make changes in the existing corporate policy with a minimum adaptation period (Cameron and Green, 2019). This system allows the employer and leader to facilitate planning and improve the work of the company without difficult, stressful situations.
Effective Leadership and Change Management for Sustainable Development
The role of a leader in implementing sustainable change policies was mentioned several times in this paper. As Dr. Attah and Obera (2017, p. 41) claim in the article, “Organizations need strong leadership and strong management for optimal effectiveness.” In a modern and dynamic world, companies need influential leaders who are not afraid to change the current order of things. Besides, each industry needs development and change, and only with the attraction of a worthy leader, this evolution can take place.
In recent years, trends in the transition to higher sustainability manifested. The formation of the export-raw material model in the world has already led to the development of “anti-sustainable” trends. This situation creates additional risks for the future economy. For more sustainability, corporations can not increase volumes use of natural resources and, at the same time to increase the level of material well-being of the population due to the double win policy and the effect of decoupling.
The world needs federal compensatory environmental and economic mechanisms that would take into account the value of regional ecosystems and their ecosystem services of all humankind. It is crucial to support the transition to a green economy model that is primarily related to the goals of economic modernization.
Several researchers consider the maintenance of natural capital as a ban on any reduction in the reserves of natural resources, which accordingly leads to a limitation or exclusion of economic growth. Fortunately, humanity has not exceeded the limits at which the complete degradation of the biosphere begins yet. At the same time, with population growth and the exclusion of economic growth, social instability, and aggravation of the problem of poverty is possible. At this point, the primary solution will require the determination of social issues.
A real way out of this situation is the model of sustainable development, which involves a balance of economic growth with the rate of reproduction of natural resources. Meanwhile, the balance of the economy means considering the form of an ecological and economic system with balanced material flows.
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