The full text of this article
Structural limits to sustainable development: managers and progressive agency
by Delyse Springett
International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development (IJISD), Vol. 1, No. 1/2, 2005
Abstract: The 'contradiction' inherent in sustainable development has produced a discursive struggle between two paradigms. The 'business case' for sustainable development frames the concept as a narrative of eco-modernism that fails to contest the structural bases of unsustainability. The competing radical discourse constructs sustainable development as having emancipatory power to produce a more ecologically rational and socially just metanarrative, challenging the dominant model of economic rationality. Investigations in the area of innovation and sustainable development need to take account of this contestation that revolves around institutional and structural limits that have become normalised to the extent that they sometimes escape examination. This has implications for the awareness, education and level of agency of managers in capitalist organisations. A research inquiry conducted in New Zealand revealed that the 'business case' represented the major discursive formation around sustainable development, chiefly promoted by a coalition of government and business interests, although this model and the radical paradigm were both contested by neo-liberal groups. Corporate managers conceived the 'business case' as their chief means of exercising agency to negotiate the meaning of sustainable development in the workplace; although the research discourse opened up a conceptual space where counter-hegemonic positions addressing the structural limits to sustainable development and the limitations to the 'business case' began to emerge.
Online publication date: Fri, 11-Nov-2005
is only available to individual subscribers or to users at subscribing institutions.
Go to Inderscience Online Journals to access the Full Text of this article.
Pay per view:
If you are not a subscriber and you just want to read the full contents of this article, buy online access here.
Complimentary Subscribers, Editors or Members of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development (IJISD):
Login with your Inderscience username and password:
Want to subscribe?
A subscription gives you complete access to all articles in the current issue, as well as to all articles in the previous three years (where applicable).
See our Orders page to subscribe.
If you still need assistance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org