Dilemmas of a Sustainable Strategic Management
Options for a Corporate Balancing Efficiency and Sustainability through Autonomous Co-operation in Decision Making Processes Authors:*
Prof. Dr. Michael Hülsmann Management of Sustainable System Development Department of Economics University of Bremen
Diplom-Ökonom Jörn Grapp Management of Sustainable System Development Department of Economics University of Bremen
Wilhelm-Herbst-Str. 12 D-28359 Bremen Phone +49 (0421) – 218 – 9773 Fax +49 (0421) – 218 – 7422 E-mail email@example.com Homepage http://www.wiwi.uni-bremen.de/mh
Wilhelm-Herbst-Str. 12 D-28359 Bremen Phone +49 (0421) – 218 – 9774 Fax +49 (0421) – 218 – 7422 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Homepage http://www.wiwi.uni-bremen.de/mh
Acknowledgement: This research was supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) as part of the Collaborative Research Centre 637 “Autonomous Cooperating Logistic Processes – A Paradigm Shift and its Limitations”.
* The authors are pleased to thank Kristin Hildebrandt for her very valuable support.
Reference: Hülsmann, M.; Grapp, J.: Dilemmas of a Sustainable Strategic Management - Options for a Corporate Balancing Efficiency and Sustainability by Autonomous Cooperation in Decision Making Processes. In: Melnyk, L. (ed.): Mechanism of Economic Regulation, 2/2005, pp. 66-79
Despite its broad acceptance as a concept of social development the idea of sustainability focuses in particular on the inter- and intragenerative distribution and allocation of property rights in the management of economic, ecological, social and cultural resources. In terms of a sustainable strategic management, however, decision making processes are still lacking the implementation and operationalization of the sustainability calculus.
This article initially wants to give an overview of the various patterns of interpretation while highlighting those perspectives, which permit the realization of the sustainability concept on an individual business level. Furthermore, the question occurs whether a recursive approach could optimize a sustainable strategic management. Therefore, the limitations and opportunities of recursivity will be examined. In a second step different types of dilemmas and dilemmatic management situations will be classified and discussed based on the premise that concept-immanent dilemmas connect with sustainability on an individual business level. It needs to be analyzed whether intra-conceptual dilemmas exist along with inter-conceptual dilemmas. Thirdly, different options for handling the identified management will be pointed out. The concept of autonomous co-operation as one among these alternatives, which will be analyzed from a system-theoretic point of view in regard to sustainable strategic management as a possible approach to a systematic, competence-based dealing with arising dilemmas. In a final step, possible potentials for corporate decision making processes, developing from the concept of autonomous co-operation will be presented and future perspectives of a sustainable strategic management within this conceptualization shall be outlined.
SUSTAINABILITY – GALLERY OF DEFINITIONS
The concept of sustainability has its source in the English-speaking regions. According to Gray, sustainability indicates the ability to develop, to strengthen and to preserve by one's own opportunities and potentials (Hülsmann, 2004a). Looking at the term of »Sustainable Development« from an etymological point of view it will turn out that it stems from the Latin »sustenere« and in a general sense means supporting the avoidance of a fall. In a closer sense...