Sustainability: The Corporate Challenge of the 21st Century

Sustainability: The Corporate Challenge of the 21st Century

Sustainability: The Corporate Challenge of the 21st Century

Sustainability: The Corporate Challenge of the 21st Century

Synopsis

Explores the need for organisations to strive for both human and ecological sustainability and the ways this can be achieved.

Excerpt

The essence of culture is not what is visibleont he surface (Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner, 1997, p. 3).

We find ourselves at an interesting point in the history of the corporation. After 500 years of activity in the Western world and with the advent of post-industrialism and the information age, corporations face new challenges as the way people work and participate in the marketplace shifts focus and orientation. Many are heralding the rise of a knowledge and information economy as being as significant a change as the shift from agrarianism to industrialism. No longer ploughing fields, no longer turning out widgets, the industries of the future will increasingly be centred around providing services, either face-to-faceorvirtually. and service work is people-centred work. It is work that is powered by people for people. Economic might will no longer be associated with factories full of machinery. Instead wealth will flow primarily from brain power— the intellectual capital of the collective workforce.

Such changes require a new means of conceiving of and working with employees. the new questions to be answered are: How does an organisation harness the knowledge, skills and experience embodied in its workforce? How does the organisation attract and retain the right mix of people who can innovate, create and re-create so that the organisation remains competitive and relevant in a post-industrial landscape? These are the questions facing every organisation during the early years of the twenty-first century. These are the issues that every . . .

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