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Faith in the future: on a mission to integrate sustainability into management theory and practice

Martinez, Fabien, Peattie, Kenneth ORCID: and Vazquez-Brust, Diego 2021. Faith in the future: on a mission to integrate sustainability into management theory and practice. Futures 125 , 102654. 10.1016/j.futures.2020.102654

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This paper considers the future transformation of management theory and practice towards greater sustainability by framing it as a battle of competing faiths rather than logics. We apply the lens of ‘syncretism’, a process that describes religious faith interactions to understand the critical role of ‘missionaries’ and ‘believers’ in business progress towards sustainability. Using analogical reasoning, we argue that business missionaries and believers are characterised by varying levels of (1) sensibility to sustainability issues and (2) capacity to open themselves to ‘external’ idea systems and worldviews. The type of relationships that are developed amongst these agents may critically shape a firm’s sustainability performance. The article ends with an outline of implications for the future of corporate sustainability practice, research and theory.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACES)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0016-3287
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 October 2020
Date of Acceptance: 20 October 2020
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2023 21:02

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