A two-dimensional, two-level framework for achieving corporate sustainable development: Assessing the return on sustainability initiatives

Lin Wu, Nachiappan Subramanian, Angappa Gunasekaran, Muhammad Dan Asabe Abdulrahman, Kulwant Singh Pawar, Des Doran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Sustainability studies in operations management have reported the positive effects of lean, green and social management systems on various dimensions of a firm's sustainability performance. However, despite its importance and relevance, the time dimension of sustainability has not been systematically considered. This paper recategorizes the well-identified sustainability initiatives based on a time dimension and empirically validates the categorization. Structural equation modeling analyses were performed using data collected from 284 Chinese automotive firms. The results suggest that various lean and reactive green practices can be categorized as “short-term sustainability initiatives” because the effects of implementing these practices can be seen in a short time. Specifically, the benefits of implementing short-term sustainability initiatives can be further strengthened and reinforced in the long run by implementing corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. In addition, our findings demonstrate that to fully realize the potential associated with CSR practices, firms need to be orientated to the long term and adopt a wait and watch approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1117-1130
Number of pages14
JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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