Building Theory at the Intersection of Ecological Sustainability and Strategic Management

Helen Borland, Véronique Ambrosini, Adam Lindgreen, Joelle Vanhamme

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This article builds theory at the intersection of ecological sustainability and strategic management literature—specifically, in relation to dynamic capabilities literature. By combining industrial organization economics–based, resource-based, and dynamic capability–based views, it is possible to develop a better understanding of the strategies that businesses may follow, depending on their managers’ assumptions about ecological sustainability. To develop innovative strategies for ecological sustainability, the dynamic capabilities framework needs to be extended. In particular, the sensing–seizing–maintaining competitiveness framework should operate not only within the boundaries of a business ecosystem but in relation to global biophysical ecosystems; in addition, two more dynamic capabilities should be added, namely, remapping and reaping. This framework can explicate core managerial beliefs about ecological sustainability. Finally, this approach offers opportunities for managers and academics to identify, categorize, and exploit business strategies for ecological sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)293-307
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • Dynamic capabilities
  • Ecocentrism
  • Ecological sustainability
  • Transformational business strategy

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