Assessment 4: Individual Theme Exposition Essay
Student: Jana Moniez
Student No: s3885730
Seminar: Tuesday's 2-5
Coach: Angela Bowles
Human sustainability is imperative to the success of organizational change and development, according to Dunphy, Griffiths and Benn (2007) 'Building of knowledge systems, social capital and other strategies designed to increase and sustain human capability are vital.' This is due to the fact that employees spend at least half their life in the workforce; therefore they are searching for work that is meaningful and where they can thrive as this increases productivity and has follow on effects to their home life. (Spreitzer, Porath and Gibson 2012).
According to Dunphy, Griffiths and Benn (2007) sustainability phase model there are six phases to achieving sustainability: Rejection, Non-Responsiveness,Compliance, Efficiency, Strategic Pro activity and the Sustaining Corporation. The model is a tool designed to help an organization assess where it is at in terms of human and ecological sustainability and to charter a course through the phases to achieve its goals. For the purpose of this essay I will be looking at the phase of efficiency in particular and how an organization can change integrating human and ecological-efficiency into cost cutting as a means of reaching efficiency. As according to research by Benn and Dunphy (2003)
'The development by the organization of the human capabilities and skills that enable more consistent compliance, the implementation of eco-efficiency measures and forward planning for sustainability. In other words, we argue that the concepts of human and ecological sustainability need to be merged.'
In the traditional sense efficiency can be defined as 'maximize output while minimizing the input - of people, machines andtime.' (Smith and Dunphy 2003) Efficiency focused on cost cutting through people, waste procedures and processes especially those on the production line such as those in a Ford factory producing cars. Over time these have changed due to the external impacts of globalization, the global financial crisis, impacts of global warming and increased market competition companies have looked to retrenching employees, outsourcing, reducing work hours, tighter control mechanisms which leave little room for creativity, the introduction of pay for performance systems, discontinuing health benefits and super as a way to satisfy the shareholder in maintaining their profit. These methods may seem beneficial in the short term however research has shown that they are detrimental to employees health and well being at work and in the home causing stress and depression, increasing levels of sick days and absenteeism, low morale which in turn lowers employee's commitment to the firm decreasing production and output thus costing the organization revenue. Pfeffer(1994)
Retrenching has also proven to have detrimental effects on a firms reputation within society, for example look at QANTAS; before they used to be known as one of the leading airlines in Australia for quality and safety however due to increasing competition from low cost airlines especially Virgin Blue and Virgin Australia they have cut thousands of jobs, outsourced engineers and comprised customers safety and intern customers are refusing to fly with them and instead turning to their low cost competitors. (Bray, Waring and Cooper 2011)
Damages to reputation, loss of customers, and a decrease in profits due to boycotts can also occur when a company is not acting in the environment's best interests or if there is accident at a firms plant like an oil spill which causes massive loss of life and damage. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (1992) define ecological efficiency as 'goods...