The nexus of business sustainability and organizational learning: A systematic literature review to identify key learning principles for business transformation

Verena Hermelingmeier*, T (Timo) von Wirth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Companies play a central role in the quest for sustainable development. Organizational learning theories have been utilized to explain sustainability-related change processes in firms. However, implications from studies at the nexus of business sustainability and organizational learning are highly dependent on varying conceptualizations. The objective of this study is to provide clarity on the plurality of conceptual underpinnings in research and to uncover principles that are associated with deeper organizational change processes, that is, business transformation. Building on insights from a systematic literature review, we develop a sustainability learning typology, from which we distill three learning principles for business transformation: (1) the deutero learning mode, (2) the societal learning scope, and (3) the cooperative advantage objective. We formulate needs for future research to further elaborate on the learning principles associated with business transformation and suggest implications for practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1839-1851
Number of pages13
JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was conducted in the context of the 5‐year junior research project “UrbanUp” funded by the German Federal Ministry of Research. We thank the three anonymous reviewers for valuable comments that helped further improving the quality of this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Business Strategy and The Environment published by ERP Environment and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Research programs

  • ESSB DRIFT
  • ESSB SOC

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The nexus of business sustainability and organizational learning: A systematic literature review to identify key learning principles for business transformation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this