A Model for Improving the Adoption of Sustainability in the Context of Globalization and Innovation

A Model for Improving the Adoption of Sustainability in the Context of Globalization and Innovation

David L. Rainey (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-165-8.ch002
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This chapter presents the foundations of a conceptual model for connecting the key elements necessary for corporations to adopt sustainability in the context of the global economy and strategic innovation. While there are numerous theories and practical methods for managing in a national or even regional markets, most of them lack the sophistication necessary for leading change in a global business environment. With the advent of globalization, the complexities of doing business on a global basis have increased dramatically over the last two decades. While sustainability involves many perspectives, strategies, actions, and management constructs, the chapter focuses on how global corporations employ strategic innovations in response to the driving forces in the global economy and how they can improve their level of management sophistication in a turbulent business environment. The model incorporates the concepts of sustainability and sustainable development in creating the solutions, systems and structures for doing business in the global economy. It focuses on strategic innovations that provide more positive aspects and fewer negative ones. Sustainability and sustainable development are based on proactive strategies and actions that exceed expectations and outperform peers and competitors alike. Strategic innovations are dramatic changes that have the potential to create dramatic new solutions that create exceptional value and eliminate or reduce negative effects and impacts. Strategic innovations include radical technological innovations, business model innovations, product developments, and organizational developments that are game changers.
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This chapter presents a model for adopting sustainability and sustainable development (SD) in business organizations based on the perspectives of globalization and the management constructs associated with strategic innovation. Globalization involves the development of an integrated global economic system. It is based on fewer time and distance constraints, the reduction in the costs of global communications and logistics, the removal of trade restrictions, and enhancements in information flows and currency exchanges. Today, advanced technologies and sophisticated management methods and practices have dramatically improved the efficiency, effectiveness, and benefits of international trade. While incredible improvements have been made over the last decade, there are many more changes necessary to ensure that globalization is a positive force resulting in sustainable outcomes for all of the participants. Given that globalization is still far from a true reality, sustainability and SD are essential constructs for achieving positive gains and reducing negative effects and impacts.

Sustainability involves the quest toward more ideal solutions and sustainable success over time. It necessitates more inclusive and innovative approaches for collaboration, cooperation, integration, and innovativeness in developing and deploying the best possible solutions for enhancing the well being of people, preserving the natural environment, and ensuring social and economic stability. It requires creating new-to-the-world solutions that are based on clean technologies and innovative products and more efficient, effective, and less polluting systems; ones that provide mostly positive benefits with few defects, burdens, problems, and significantly less pollution and waste. Sustainability involves a transformation to higher levels of sophistication in how business leaders and government officials formulate and implement strategies, policies, and actions plans to achieve such outcomes.

SD is a critical element of sustainability that focuses on developing and deploying strategic innovations that exceed the expectations customers, stakeholders, and people. SD focuses on protecting the natural environment and enhancing the social and economic world as well as achieving superior strategic, market, and financial results by the corporations. SD involves obtaining the best outcomes possible for the present generation and ensuring that future generations can realize their aspirations for social and economic well being in harmony with the natural world. SD originated in 1987 by the World Commission Environment and Development for the General Assembly of the United Nations that prepared the Brundtland Report, entitled Our Common Future. In the report, SD refers to the notion “that it [humankind] meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” (The World Commission of Environment and Development, 1987, p8)

Strategic innovation refers to technological innovations and high-level product developments that have the potential to change the global competitive landscape based on advancements in the benefits provided to customers and stakeholders, and significant reductions in the negative effects and impacts associated with existing technologies and products. Creating, developing and deploying strategic innovations offer bright prospects for an enhanced global business environment with the greater possibilities for more people worldwide to enjoy the solutions provided by businesses.

Specifying precisely what strategic leaders must do to achieve sustainability, SD and strategic innovation is an arduous task. Given that an all-compassing model linking globalization, sustainability, SD and strategic innovation may not be possible in the short term, developing and gaining acceptance of a general model that fits multinational enterprises (MNEs), transnational corporations, and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) may take years to realize. Moreover, as more companies from the developing countries play significant roles in the global business environment, such a model or models have to accommodate the social, economic, cultural, environmental, technological and ethical realities that exist across the globe. Most importantly, a holistic model pertaining to sustainability and SD has to recognize and incorporate the differences in resources, capabilities and sophistication between the MNEs and the SMEs, between the companies from the developed countries and those from the developing ones, and the between the old line corporations and the emerging companies.

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Farley Simon Nobre
Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Alan D. Meyer, William H. Starbuck
Colette Henry
Farley Simon Nobre, David Walker, Robert J. Harris
Chapter 1
Enrique Leff
Renovating our thinking as humankind (rethinking nature, culture and development) is an imperative to approach the challenges of environmental... Sample PDF
Environmental Rationality: Innovation in Thinking for Sustainability
Chapter 2
David L. Rainey
This chapter presents the foundations of a conceptual model for connecting the key elements necessary for corporations to adopt sustainability in... Sample PDF
A Model for Improving the Adoption of Sustainability in the Context of Globalization and Innovation
Chapter 3
Friedrich Grosse-Dunker, Erik G. Hansen
Corporations increasingly subscribe to the principles of corporate sustainability, which is generally described as the integration of economic... Sample PDF
Product-Service Systems as Enabler for Sustainability-Oriented Innovation: The Case of Osram’s Off-Grid Lighting
Chapter 4
Hiroko Nakamura, Yuya Kajikawa, Shinji Suzuki
In this chapter, the shared visions and the latest activities for sustainability in the aviation sector are presented and perspectives on the... Sample PDF
Innovation for Sustainability in Aviation: World Challenges and Visions
Chapter 5
Helen E. Muga, Ken D. Thomas
The primary focus of this chapter is on the theory and concepts of sustainability and why they are important to innovation and vice-versa. Key... Sample PDF
Diffusion and Adoption of Innovations for Sustainability
Chapter 6
Javier Amores Salvadó, José Emilio Navas López, Gregorio Martín de Castro
The proposal below provides a special emphasis on the relationship between businesses and natural environment. It is argued that the inclusion of... Sample PDF
Social Innovation, Environmental Innovation, and Their Effect on Competitive Advantage and Firm Performance
Chapter 7
Javier Alejandro Carvajal Díaz, María Catalina Ramírez Cajiao, José Tiberio Hernández Peñaloza
Innovation within organisations permits the transformation of knowledge into applications for the development of new knowledge and new organisations... Sample PDF
Observe, Conceive, Design, Implement and Operate: Innovation for Sustainability
Chapter 8
Gavin Smeilus, Robert Harris, Andrew Pollard
Whilst current academic literature points to the growing importance of Open Innovation as a means of companies capturing new products from sources... Sample PDF
The Integration of Independent Inventors in Open Innovation
Chapter 9
Gavin Smeilus, Robert Harris, Andrew Pollard
Open Innovation allows independent inventors to become suppliers of new product ideas to businesses. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of... Sample PDF
An Examination of Independent Inventor Integration in Open Innovation
Chapter 10
Valentina Lazzarotti, Raffaella Manzini, Luisa Pellegrini
This chapter investigates the topic of how open innovation is actually implemented by companies, according to a conceptual approach in which open... Sample PDF
Firm-Specific Factors and the Degree of Innovation Openness
Chapter 11
Christina Öberg
In research literature, product development has frequently been associated with four distinct phases: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline.... Sample PDF
Effects of Product Development Phases on Innovation Network Relationships
Chapter 12
Caspar Van Rijnbach, Gustavo de Boer Endo, Suzana Monteiro Leonardi
Companies are focusing increasingly on the creation and maintenance of external networks for innovation. The purpose of this chapter is to introduce... Sample PDF
Maturity in Innovation Network Management
Chapter 13
Renata Lèbre La Rovere, Leonardo de Jesus Melo
This chapter investigates the contributions of Science Parks (SPs) to innovation. In particular, we discuss whether the literature on innovation and... Sample PDF
Science Parks and Their Role in the Innovation Process: A Literature Review for the Analysis of Science Parks as Catalysts of Organizational Networks
Chapter 14
Jonas Gabrielsson, Diamanto Politis
The relation between entrepreneurial learning and innovation is poorly understood – especially with respect to how entrepreneurs build up their... Sample PDF
Entrepreneurial Learning and Innovation: Building Entrepreneurial Knowledge from Career Experience for the Creation of New Ventures
Chapter 15
Michael Brown, Paul Turner
As much as 75% of a company’s value derives from its intangible assets. One of the most important of these intangible assets is corporate... Sample PDF
Innovation and Corporate Reputation Innovation and Corporate Reputation: Britain’s Most Admired Company Surveys 1990-2009
Chapter 16
Thomas Andersson
Whether the current strong performance displayed by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries proves sustainable for the long term will cast new... Sample PDF
Natural Resource Dependency and Innovation in the GCC Countries
Chapter 17
Ariane Hinça Schneider, Laila Del Bem Seleme, Felipe Fontes Rodrigues, Marilia de Souza, Helio Gomes de Carvalho
Situated in Paraná state in southern Brazil, the Metropolitan Region of Curitiba (MRC) is home to an automotive sector which plays a major role in... Sample PDF
Innovation in Scenario Building: Methodological Advancements and a Foresight Study of the Automotive Industry in Brazil
Chapter 18
Steven Cavaleri
Managers often conceive knowledge management processes in ways that unduly limit its potential. Toyota has avoided falling into this narrow paradigm... Sample PDF
Toward a More Pragmatic Knowledge Management: Toyota’s Experiences in Advancing Innovation
Chapter 19
Theodora Asimakou
The chapter discusses the relationship between knowledge management and innovation; specifically, it examines how knowledge in organizations affects... Sample PDF
Knowledge and the Politics of Innovation: Insights from a R&D Company
Chapter 20
René J. Jorna, Niels R. Faber
This chapter supports the argument that innovation is a special case of knowledge management; it is about knowledge creation. With economic profit... Sample PDF
Innovation and Knowledge Management for Sustainability: Theoretical Perspectives
Chapter 21
Jorge Cruz-González, José Emilio Navas-López, Pedro López-Sáez, Miriam Delgado-Verde
The aim of the present chapter is to theoretically analyze the determinants of firm’s innovation radicalness (the degree of novelty incorporated in... Sample PDF
Dynamic Capabilities and Innovation Radicalness: Review and Analysis
Chapter 22
Gretchen Jordan, Jonathon Mote, Jerald Hage
Despite the increasing importance of the management of research for innovation, the range of differences among types of research, as well as... Sample PDF
Research Profiles: Prolegomena to a New Perspective on Innovation Management
Chapter 23
Diana A. Filipescu, Claudio Cruz Cázares
Nowadays firms are not able to achieve all innovation in-house due to the specific set of technologies required by most products and processes... Sample PDF
Determinants and Consequences of R&D Strategy Selection
Chapter 24
Anne Berthinier-Poncet, Rachel Bocquet, Sébastien Brion, Caroline Mothe
This chapter aims at filling a void in the literature on the question as to whether organizational proximity can be fostered within clusters. We... Sample PDF
Institutional Innovation Practices in Technopoles: An Example in France
Chapter 25
Mário Otávio Batalha, Daniela Tatiane dos Santos, Nelson Guedes de Alcântara, Sérgio Ronaldo Granemann
This chapter discusses the structuring of problems of location of Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISC) through multicriteria analyses to... Sample PDF
Choosing Locations for Technology and Innovation Support Centers: Methodological Proposal and Brazilian Studies
Chapter 26
Eric Viardot
This chapter argues there is a lack of taxonomy of the various marketing capabilities that are necessary to achieve the market success of... Sample PDF
Taxonomy of Marketing Core Competencies for Innovation
Chapter 27
Paulo Henrique Muller Prado, Danielle Mantovani Lucena da Silva, Jose Carlos Korelo
This chapter explores how choice goals influence consumers’ innovativeness in a product category domain. The intentions to adopt new products are... Sample PDF
Self Regulation on Innovative Products Choice
Chapter 28
Pilar Fernández Ferrín, José Antonio Varela González, Belén Bande Vilela, Oihana Valmaseda Andia
This chapter contributes towards existing literature by analysing the innovation activities of Spanish companies and by proposing New Product... Sample PDF
The New Product Development Process as a Communication Web Part I: Introduction, Concepts, and Spanish Context
Chapter 29
Pilar Fernández Ferrín, José Antonio Varela González, Belén Bande Vilela, Oihana Valmaseda Andia
In the previous chapter (Part I), we proposed a model relating the composition and external communication activities of NPD teams to the performance... Sample PDF
The New Product Development Process as a Communication Web Part II: Analysis of Spanish Firms
Chapter 30
David S. Walker, Horst-Hendrik Scholz
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), as a major sector of the economy, have unique characteristics in terms of organisational and financial... Sample PDF
Innovations and Financing of SMEs Part I: SME Financing and Credit Rationing: The Availability of Funds
Chapter 31
David S. Walker, Horst-Hendrik Scholz
Financing is one of the most critical boundaries for the establishment and growth of a Small and Medium-sized Enterprise: SME (Moore, 1993). This... Sample PDF
Innovations and Financing of SMEs Part II: Case Study of German SMEs in 2010
Chapter 32
Glauco Arbix, Luiz Caseiro
The recent wave of internationalization among Brazilian companies differs from past experiences, in terms of volume, reach, destination and quality.... Sample PDF
The Recent Internationalization of Brazilian Companies
Chapter 33
Simone Vasconcelos Ribeiro Galina
Internationalization of Research and Development (R&D) allows transnational companies (TNC) to access different and important resources overseas... Sample PDF
R&D Internationalization as Mechanism of Innovation in Global Enterprises: A Brazilian Case Study
Chapter 34
Jason G. Caudill
The purpose of this chapter is to examine computer technology as a tool to support innovation and innovative processes. The primary problem that... Sample PDF
Tools That Drive Innovation: The Role of Information Systems in Innovative Organizations
Chapter 35
Farley Simon Nobre
This chapter proposes innovative features of future industrial organizations in order to provide them with the capabilities to manage high levels of... Sample PDF
The Roles of Cognitive Machines in Customer-Centric Organizations: Towards Innovations in Computational Organizational Management Networks
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