Adopting Sustainability in the Organization: Managing Processes of Productive Loose Coupling Towards Internal Legitimacy

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between sustainability adoption and internal legitimacy construction.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper is designed as a critical inquiry into existing research and practice on sustainability adoption, illustrated by two corporate vignettes.
Findings – Prior studies tend to assume that awareness raising is a sufficient means to create employee commitment and support for corporate sustainability programs, while empirical observations indicate that managerial disregard of conflicting interpretations of sustainability may result in the illegitimacy of such programs.

Originality/value – The authors suggest that a loosely coupled approach to sustainability adoption is a productive way to understand internal legitimacy construction, as it appreciates complexity and polyphony.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Management Development
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)236-246
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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