Title: Sustainability: a new and complex 'challenge' for crisis managers

Authors: W. Timothy Coombs

Addresses: Communication Studies, Eastern Illinois University, 600 Lincoln Avenue, Charleston, IL 61920, USA

Abstract: Sustainability is becoming an increasing important topic for managers. One illustration is the development of the strategic sustainability management discipline. There is a growing expectation that corporations will address sustainability in some fashion. Moreover, sustainability is used to shape reputations in part through corporate social responsibility (CSR). Sustainability can be used to develop CSR and CSR is a vital component of reputation management efforts. As a result, corporations are becoming more susceptible to outside attacks that question their sustainability efforts or lack thereof. That susceptibility exists whether the challenge is simply an issue of meeting expectations or if the organisation is delivering on promised sustainability claims. This manuscript explores sustainability challenges and the implications for crisis managers. The sustainability challenges are viewed as one means by which sustainability connects with crisis management.

Keywords: reputation management; sustainability; sustainable development; empowerment; corporate social responsibility; corporations; expectations; crisis management; emergency management; sustainable strategic management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSM.2010.032160

International Journal of Sustainable Strategic Management, 2010 Vol.2 No.1, pp.4 - 16

Published online: 11 Mar 2010 *

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