Main Research Interests
Research at the Chair for Management and Sustainability span various topics that correspond to the following main research interests. For more information on these research interests, please click on the titles below:
Strategic sustainability management
The phrase “think global, act local” best describes to our research interest in this field. Corporate managers constantly deal with pressing sustainability concerns, e.g. the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, which must be integrated on the organizational level through business strategies and operationalized in day-to-day activities. Our research is generally concerned with the translation of sustainability issues into corporate decision-making and implementation processes, and the consequences (deliberate or unintended) that these actions have on internal policies, external markets and communities, and the natural environment. In this context we investigate, for instance, how business planning for unintended consequences can be organized, how a tailor-made energy management framework for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) can be developed, and how can sustainability mission and purpose be aligned with profit.
Circular economy, industrial ecology and systems thinking
In today’s world, valuable non-renewable resources are becoming scarcer and by-products from production and consumption are damaging the environment at an accelerated pace. This forces societal actors to rethink production and consumption patterns to increase efficiency and also encourage reduction, reuse and recycling on valuable, non-renewable materials. Industrial ecology is a scholarship forcing action to rethink product and consumption patterns with the aim to harmoniously integrate industrial activities into ecological systems. The circular economy is an exciting avenue to achieve this aim. Our research deals with empirical observations of business models for the circular economy and how they are implemented across supply chains. Decision making in complex environments calls for systems thinking and inclusive stakeholder management.
Sustainable finance and ESG performance
The role and impact of the financial sector on sustainable development and the well-being of society is a well-researched field. We collaborate with many researchers and practitioners to advance the field from “does being social and green pay?” to “when and why does it pay?” This research considers a wide range of that factors help explain the positive correlation between environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria and financial performance. In order to further foster sustainable finance, we consider so-called impact investments as a key lever. In a nutshell, this type of investment puts the social and/or environmental impact first and considers financial performance afterwards. In other words, the impact on the real world is at the heart of this investment style/strategy. Our research intertwines with the University’s research group on sustainable finance.
Sustainable business models and sustainable entrepreneurship
Our research on business models and entrepreneurship examines the creation of economic, environmental and social value in both start-ups and existing companies. In start-ups, grassroots environmental and social ventures are seen as crucial for creative destruction of unsustainable products as well as radical, disruptive innovation for future markets. In existing companies, the realignment and integration of economic, environmental and social aspects in the core business plays a major role. Both sides offer prolific contexts on researching why and how entrepreneurs and business models can lead to sustainable innovation, value creation and transformation in organizations, markets and societies.