We present a book entitled Innovation in Organisational Management Under Conditions of Sustainable Development.
It is widely accepted that innovation is a key driver of sustainability. Similarly, in the present discourse, no one questions whether innovation is a necessary com- ponent of managerial processes at all organisational levels. Yet in a world where the need for sustainable development has become brutally evident, there are not many truly innovative companies and only a very few truly sustainable companies. Sustainable and innovative companies are as rare as mythical unicorns.
One can try to explain this situation by concluding that it is already a challenge in itself to understand the interdependences between the social, economic, and en- vironmental dimensions while running a business. It is even more difficult to apply the so-called Triple Bottom Line (TBL) concept, which suggests that equal consid- eration should be given to financial, environmental, and social dimensions when making business and policy decisions.
As a result, a question arises concerning the rationale behind attempts to in- troduce such complexity. Would it not be wiser to focus on maximising economic goals and take a passive approach to social and environmental dimensions by con- sidering them to be boundary conditions?
Companies can create economic value through the adoption of more sustainable processes and practices; through the design and marketing of products or services which utilise so-called green technologies1 (e.g. electric vehicles); or by providing services which utilise an innovative mix of green and regular technologies in order to solve sustainability issues. Therefore, sustainable development can be promoted either through business practices or a company’s products and services, or both2.
Implementing innovations that improve the ability to learn, manage and re- spond to environmental stimuli from dynamic socio-ecological structures makes it possible to move away from unsustainable trajectories. Various theoretical and
G. H. Elmo et al. (2020). Sustainability in tourism as an innovation driver: an analysis of family business
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Transforming innovation for sustainability. Ecology and Society, (17), pp. 11–18.
practical approaches to sustainability agree that improving it implies change, inno- vation or adaptation to its environment. The aim of sustainability is no longer just a sustainable state; instead, it is a process of constant improvement of the sustain- ability of “artefacts”. A dynamic perspective encourages discussion concerning the identification and handling of constant changes3.
The ability to innovate has become necessary for companies and takes the form of incremental or radical innovations. Business model innovation, therefore, rep- resents a potential means of integrating sustainability into a business. Consequently, an innovative and sustainable business model should adapt the company’s profit- ability to the economic and non-economic benefits for society. On the other hand, the ever-changing market requirements gradually force businesses to adapt and change in order to improve quality and become more efficient, flexible, innovative and knowledge-driven. This explains why innovation, as a process by which an in- dividual or a business learns and develops knowledge, contributes even more to sustainability in the organisational context. Based on this premise, the authors de- cided to explore the interlinked realms of innovation and sustainability.
As the authors realise that sustainable development is a pressing issue that requires immediate action from governments, industries, and society as a whole, we have made an effort to focus on innovations that can transform individuals, organisations, supply chains, and communities, and can move them towards a sustainable future.
With the aim of improved sustainability, this book deals with organisational in- novation from a broad perspective, including product and process innovation.
The monograph consists of 12 chapters.
In chapter 1, Elżbieta Lorek presents the issues of building a green economy based on the principles of sustainable development, focused mainly on the positive economic effects of green transformation.
In chapter 2, Izabela Karwala describes how acceleration programmes can serve as a source of innovation for organisations. This is particularly important today, as such programmes now have a well-established position in the business environment.
In chapter 3, Dawid Żebrak focuses on the concept of sustainable human re- source management, with a particular focus on the employment of prisoners.
In chapter 4, Monika Płońska’s research focuses on the challenges of sustain- able development in the Polish chemical industry in the context of the European Commission’s guidelines on the disclosure of non-financial climate information, especially given that time is running short.
In chapter 5, Jakub Stęchły shows an example of a car-sharing company whose business model is based on the principles of the sharing economy. This is an inter- esting example of an attempt to combine sustainability and innovation in various areas.
In chapter 6, Karolina Mucha-Kuś explains the benefits of an innovative ap- proach to integrating a public bicycle system in a metropolitan area, and the stake- holders’ approach to this project from the perspective of coopetition.
In chapter 7, Grzegorz Kinelski makes an effort to identify the relationship be- tween sustainable development, project management and the digital economy. Conclusions are drawn which could be relevant not only to the energy sector but to all kinds of enterprises.
In chapter 8, Grzegorz Kinelski and Wojciech Muras deal with managing invest- ment decisions whilst taking non-financial measures into account. Such measures are essential when introducing sustainable development metrics into the strategic controlling process.
In chapter 9, Krzysztof Zamasz depicts how political decisions aimed at ensur- ing the sustainability of energy production affect energy companies. Day-to-day business decisions in energy companies are becoming increasingly complex due to increased volatility and uncertainty as the regulatory regime tries to maintain a bal- ance in the market whilst complying with decarbonisation goals and fulfilling the role of the state in providing energy security.
In chapter 10, Maria Schulders addresses concerns regarding the mental health of university students by exploring the applicability of self-authorship in higher education processes. She points out that universities should construct a system- ic framework by which students are aided in the development of core values and self-concordant goals. It can be argued that such an approach is not only a prereq- uisite for students’ mental health and well-being, but also for reaching the full in- novative potential of individuals and educational institutions.
In chapter 11, Katarzyna Szczepańska-Woszczyna, Wojciech Muras and Marta Pikiewicz venture into aspects of long-term value creation in IT companies, tak- ing into account the role of shareholders. IT companies constitute the backbone of development of the knowledge economy but are subject to innovative managerial processes themselves, while the conceptualisation and internalisation of the role of shareholders is critical for the long-term sustainability of the organisation.
In chapter 12, Michał Gramatyka presents the management of election cam- paigns in light of project management and focuses on finding the answer to the fol- lowing question: are project management practices translatable into the language of politics?
We hope that our book will be a source of valuable knowledge for business prac- titioners, academic researchers, and all stakeholders for whom the concepts of sus- tainable development and innovation are important. We have prepared this mono- graph in the hope that readers will find it useful either for the purpose of making their innovative organisations more sustainable or making their sustainable organ- isations more innovative.
Katarzyna Szczepańska-Woszczyna Krzysztof Zamasz Grzegorz Kinelski Editors