Role of HRM in Sustainable Organisational Development

Role of HRM in Sustainable Organisational Development

Fawzy Soliman (UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6445-6.ch020
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This chapter explores the role Human Resource Management plays to support sustainable organisation development by controlling and managing valuable resources including employees of the organisation. The chapter presents the concept of sustainable organisation development as vital and important requirement to survive the competition in the current financial era. This chapter explains that sustainable development could enable organisations to overcome current market problems as well as achieve their goals. The chapter proposes that HRM can play a crucial role in developing strategic leadership and management capabilities and thus promote economic, social and environmental forms of sustainable development.
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Sustainability from the environmental point of view is seen as activities that are friendly to the environments ( 2014). Sustainable development means that organisations have to capable to create a development and able to keep it as on-going or continues process. Sustainable organisations have to be able to create development that will meet the current demands, without diminishing future opportunities to fulfil their needs (Vollenbroek, 2002).

Recent, high economic growth and fluctuating market conditions may lead to a complex working situation. This means the role of human resource management HRM need to find solutions to the questions of: How to deal with relationships between and with employees? and how to manage the firm’s sustainable development?

This chapter explains the key responsibilities of HRM and in particular the critical role of HRM in organizational sustainable development. Organisations could formulate their creative strategies in order to act more effectively and efficiently in their operations (Zandee, 2011).

Sustainable organisational development definitions appear to be associated with the relationship between organisation, society and environment. Spooner and Kaine (2010) describe sustainability in businesses as the ‘triple bottom line (TBL)’, where economic, social and environmental issues are integrated.

Sustainability of an organisation has traditionally been viewed as the three E’s being Economic, Environment and Equity. New definitions include the three P’s being people, profit, and planet. According to Bowersox, et al (2013) “organisational sustainability can ultimately be refined into the following four dimensions being environmental, social, education, and economic.”

1. Environmental Sustainability

Environmental sustainability includes conservation, usage reduction, and efficient business practices (Bowersox, et al 2013). It is noted that public’s awareness of environmental issues has been recognized earlier by Drumwright (1994) who proposed that “The deterioration of the environment over recent decades has drastically increased the public’s awareness of environmental issues”. This type of awareness can either help or hinder a firm’s position in the market depending on the firm’s ability to manage potential environmental impacts within their functions. This view was also supported by Elkington (1998), who argued that “If we fail to address the wider political, social and ethical issues, the backlash will inevitably undermine progress in the environmental area”. In addition, Porter and Linde (1995) also noted “Greening the supply chain can save resources, eliminate or reduce waste, and improve productivity and competitive advantage at the same time”. Other scholars such as Bowersox et al. (2013 pp. 403) argue “There is growing belief that under specific circumstances, firms can increase their profits by adopting environmentally sustainable practices”.

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