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Definitions and Concepts of Organizational Sustainability: A Literature Analysis

  • Putra Business School - Universiti Putra Malaysia
  • Putra Business School, Seri Kembangan, Malaysia


Abstract This research paper provides a comprehensive literature review that thoroughly examines the definitions and different concepts of organizational sustainability. This paper also looks at how research gaps are addressed in the literature with a particular emphasis on issues of organizational sustainability. Overall, organizational sustainability, including issues and aspects related to sustainability, is discussed. Individual authors provide their perspectives on various aspects of organizational sustainability from their field research, case analysis, and creative search. It also includes a greater knowledge of how real economic activity concerns and political dynamics can inhibit decision-making related to operational or practical sustainability. Several sustainability viewpoints from around the world have provided a genuine mechanism for organizations to increase their financial success while minimizing their impact on the environment and society. This study urges that knowing an organization's ability to change and self-regulate on critical issues for long-term sustainability can help solve the socio-ecological dilemma. This study shows how firms approach sustainability and what fundamental issues still need to be resolved. The research has provided novel and unusual insights into the factors contributing to organizational sustainability. Additional value is generated by estimating progress toward the idea of organizational sustainability, identifying impediments, and analyzing various real-world examples of measures to enhance advancement toward that concept. Keywords: Sustainability, Organizational Sustainability, Environmental Sustainability, Social Sustainability, Economic Sustainability, Institutionalization
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Society & Sustainability 4(2), 2022 ISSN: 2690-6767
Definitions and Concepts of Organizational
Sustainability: A Literature Analysis
Mostafizur Rahman1*, Sazali Abd Wahab2 & Ahmad Shaharudin Abdul Latiff3
1PhD Researcher, Putra Business School, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia
2Professor, Putra Business School, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia
3 Senior Lecturer, Putra Business School, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia
*Corresponding Author:
Citation: Rahman, M., Wahab, S. A., & Latiff, A. S. A. (2022). Definitions and Concepts of Organizational
Sustainability: A Literature Analysis. Society & Sustainability, 4 (2), 21-32.
Research Note
This research paper provides a comprehensive literature review that thoroughly examines the definitions
and different concepts of organizational sustainability. This paper also looks at how research gaps are
addressed in the literature with a particular emphasis on issues of organizational sustainability. Overall,
organizational sustainability, including issues and aspects related to sustainability, is discussed. Individual
authors provide their perspectives on various aspects of organizational sustainability from their field
research, case analysis, and creative search. It also includes a greater knowledge of how real economic
activity concerns and political dynamics can inhibit decision-making related to operational or practical
sustainability. Several sustainability viewpoints from around the world have provided a genuine mechanism
for organizations to increase their financial success while minimizing their impact on the environment and
society. This study urges that knowing an organization's ability to change and self-regulate on critical
issues for long-term sustainability can help solve the socio-ecological dilemma. This study shows how firms
approach sustainability and what fundamental issues still need to be resolved. The research has provided
novel and unusual insights into the factors contributing to organizational sustainability. Additional value
is generated by estimating progress toward the idea of organizational sustainability, identifying
impediments, and analyzing various real-world examples of measures to enhance advancement toward that
Keywords: Sustainability, Organizational Sustainability, Environmental Sustainability, Social
Sustainability, Economic Sustainability, Institutionalization
1. Introduction
The most exciting and cutting-edge topic for researchers, managers, consultants, competitors, and modern
organizations' consumers is sustainability. However, modernization and structural integration have
increased the emphasis on sustainability. The only indisputable feature of the term "sustainability" is that it
is not universally agreed upon. In reality, a large number of definitions cover development and
environmental objectives, local and international applications, and a wide variety of institutional contexts,
which represent the benefits and aspirations of almost all potential performers. Given the several ways that
the term "sustainability" is used, it is not surprising that there is some confusion as to what the concept
entails. The mainstream roots of the term are an important starting point in empathizing with the various
components of sustainability. The World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) of the
United Nations gave a lot of attention to the debate about sustainable development.
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In 1983, the United Nations founded WCED to resolve the issues of rapid degradation and the resulting
impact on the social and economic growth of world environmental systems. The result was a well-known
document titled "Our Common Future." The idea of sustainable development is the main tool for future
global development strategies in this report, also called the Brundtland Report after the chairperson of the
commission. Sustainability is defined as "development that meets the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (Brundtland, 1987). The term
"sustainability" is a broad, ambiguous, and all-encompassing word. Sustainability is used to talk about
everything that goes into making a decision, such as the social, economic, and environmental effects.
However, organizational sustainability is a popular idea in modern organizations. Organizations' abilities
to deal with sustainability have expanded significantly, and more and more employees and graduates have
skills and knowledge in this area. But it might not be fair to assume that organizations will care about
sustainability just because they can. This is especially true when the economy is struggling. Organizational
sustainability is driven by a culture within an organization that is conducive to achieving sustainability and
has underlying common assumptions, attitudes, and beliefs regarding the resolution of sustainability issues.
It influences organizational behavior through corporate decision-making and organizational practices
(Ketprapakorn and Kantabutra, 2022). Thus, sustainability in culture is related to sustainable development
and sustainability and involves preserving cultural beliefs, traditions, heritage, culture as an entity, and the
question of whether any given culture will survive. From cultural legacy to cultural and creative enterprises,
culture drives economic, social, and environmental sustainability. Aligning organizational strategy with
sustainability increases the competitiveness of industrial systems (Amui et al. 2017).On the other hand,
sustainable development is a method of organizing citizens to ensure their long-term survival. This requires
consideration of both current and future imperatives, such as the protection of the environment and natural
resources or social and economic equality. So, the study tried to focus on the different ways people define
and think about organizational sustainability. This paper argues that organizational sustainability entails
possessing the requisite leadership, resources, global perspectives, and change methods to meet the unique
issues facing enterprises today. Consequently, organizational sustainability involves providing
organizations with the people and structures necessary for success in the global marketplace of the twenty-
first century. These include making the most of a global talent pool that includes people from four
generations and many different cultures, creating a workplace where everyone feels welcome, and teaching
leaders how to use diversity to their advantage.
Organizational sustainability often focuses on environmental, social, and economic factors. Sustainability
is a prerequisite for companies to survive in today's market. Sustainability, like digital transformation,
necessitates organizational restructuring. Prioritizing sustainability helps with investor demands, customer
demands, regulatory requirements, talent acquisition, and productivity increases. However, the push for a
more sustainable manner of doing business can be traced back to several factors, including the demands of
globalization, corporate scandals, the global economic crisis, and requests for more monitoring of business
from outside stakeholders. So, the goal of this research is to help define and think about "organizational
sustainability" in light of how each organization works and what its environment is like.
2. Literature Review
2.1. Definitions and Concepts of Sustainability
Sustainability activities are prolific. The idea of sustainability has become a guiding philosophy, an
objective, and a norm for a wide spectrum of actors and organizations. For example, at the 1992 UN Rio
Earth Summit, all 172 participating governments decided to embrace the Agenda 21 sustainable
development blueprint, signing an extensive global agreement on the significance of sustainable
development and global sustainability (United Nations, 1992). In 1994, Elkington joined the "triple bottom
line" of sustainability, introducing the idea to the business sector and taking on the environmental,
economic, and social components, all of which wanted to build a sustainable economy capable of sustaining
the earth (Elkington, 2004). Again in 2015, all 193 UN member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for
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Sustainable Developmentthe plan of action for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (United
Nations, 2015).
Gladwin et al. (1995) defined sustainability as an open, integrated, equitable, reasonable, and secure system
that fosters people's growth. Gladwin et al. (1995) derived three perspectives from this definition: (i)
technocentric, (ii) ecocentric, and (iii) sustaincentric. One viewpoint is technocentric, which argues for an
inactive and submissive planet. That also justifies the ongoing investigation of such a base. Where humans
are the core concern of technocentrism, they have the right to dispose of natural resources for private
advantage. Consequently, the normal atmosphere is empirical and solely monetary in importance, like a
commodity. Technocentrists believe that technological advances and economic growth are the only
heritages to be passed on to future generations. In the technocentric framework, the dominant thought is
self-centered, linear, and instrumental (Gladwin et al., 1995).
The second one is the ecocentric view. According to ecocentrism, the earth has life-recognizing origins for
all current organisms, of which humans are only a tacit one and not the typical or predominant one. The
planet is living, dynamic, holy, and receptive to human intervention. Eco-centrism embraces certain
pragmatic viewpoints for sustainable development focused on conventional philosophies like the theology
of liberation and radical feminism. The conceptual version of sustainable development supported by
ecofeminism, ecosocialism, and ecoteologism is monitored by these contributions (Mebratu, 1998). This
ecocentric and ideological orientation meets environmental clarity on sustainability, which addresses the
value of environmental circumstances that ensure the lives of people who underline their essential needs.
Ecological sustainability affects both the present and the future, but it is the best way to think about
protecting the environment, making the best use of resources, and getting more people involved in society.
The third one is the sustaincentric view. The sustaincentric view claims that the world is the habitat of
human beings. It must therefore be preserved as safe, balanced, and sustainable so that everybody can have
a quality of life. Sustaincentism considers the entire scope of human rights, particularly in social, legal,
political, economic, and cultural contexts (Gladwin et al., 1995). A theoretical interpretation of this view
encompasses sustainable development. To address the issues created by the ecological dilemma, the
theoretical interpretation is multidimensional, as it connects to fiscal, ecological, and sociocultural notions
(Mebratu, 1998). Because interdisciplinary sustainability and academic forms of sustainability are valuable,
this identification can examine several systematic offers and connect multidisciplinary explanations that
correlate and expand economic, environmental, and societal benefits.
2.2. Organizational Sustainability
Organizational sustainability denotes everything about integrating the goals of sustainable development, for
example, societal fairness, economic efficacy, and eco-friendly exposures, into the operating atmosphere
of industries (Varsei et al., 2014). Hence, in the manufacturing sector, sustainability means the essence of
goods or services that are environmentally friendly, while the means for achieving them vary in their
purpose. Sustainability can vary, like in the manufacturing industry, from that of the services sector. Paul
Shrivastava (1995) explains that the previous or past industrial operations were unsustainable, and the
contemporary environmental crises are their reproduction. In addition, the powers of world capitalism over
continuous and rising economic growth have embraced the intensity of world economic activity, which has
been supported by efficient trade agreements focused on the number of resources above the endurability of
the earth (Daly, 2005; Meadows et al., 2004). Beyond environmental resource limitations, it implies a
possible shortage crisis for organizations that affect and directly influence their business activities,
particularly economic activities. The environmental or ecological crisis persists and encompasses the social,
economic, political, cultural, as well as socio-ideological dimensions of business (Mebratu, 1998;
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O’Connor, 2002). Thus, debates and solutions relating to sustainable growth and sustainability need to be
included in organizational strategies (Husted, 2005; Vachon, 2010; Gorokhova, 2014; Borim-de-Souza et
al., 2015).
Integrating sustainable development goals such as social equality, economic efficiency, and environmental
performance into corporate practices is one example of organizational sustainability (Varsei et al., 2014).
Organizational sustainability, on the other hand, is referred to as "adopting organizational strategies and
activities that meet the needs of the enterprise and its stakeholders today while protecting, sustaining, and
enhancing the human and natural resources that will be needed in the future" (Deloitte and Touche, 1992).
From the organizations' viewpoints, Elkington (2013) and Dyllick and Hockerts (2002) highlighted in three
circles measurements of sustainability like profit, planet, and people, representing economic,
environmental, and social sustainability, respectively, with the "triple bottom line" (TBL) concept (Engert
et al., 2016). Figure 1 below shows a way to measure the environmental, social, and economic dimensions
of sustainability. Fig. 1: Dimensions of Sustainability
Source: Bom, Jorge, Ribeiro, & Marto (2019)
However, the United Nations has introduced the fourth element, called the institutional dimension, to
measure sustainability (Labuschagne et al., 2005). So, figure 2 shows a holistic and integrated approach to
sustainability with four dimensions: natural, economic, social, and political. These focus on the
conservation of ecological ecosystems and resources, peace and justice between people, getting relevant
with a long-term strategy, and democracy, which gives people a say in how ecological, social, political, and
economic arrangements are cared for and managed.
Organizations are striving for sustainability by producing better goods and services, meeting consumer
demands and needs, and optimizing profitability while addressing social and ecological concerns (Barbier,
2007; Hunt, 2011). Environmental commitment entails making responsible use of natural resources;
economic commitment entails making responsible efforts to create value and profit; and social
responsibility entails charitable giving, social connections, and educational support. Clients who watch
organizations confirm accountability frequently report that organizations are fair and trustworthy, form
positive opinions of items or services and expand purchasing, benefiting shareholders (Kang et al., 2016;
Mishra and Modi, 2016).
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Fig. 2: UNESCO Four Dimensions of Sustainability
Source: UNESCO (2010), retrieved from
Thus, organizations may proactively stress environmental responsibility to comply with government rules,
meet social needs, and boost the company's brand image (Buysse and Verbeke, 2003).Consequently,
examining the economic, environmental, and social factors involved in assessing the sustainability
performance of any organization is essential. The following examples demonstrate the factors related to
each class.
2.2.1. Environmental Sustainability
Environmental sustainability can be defined as the combination of several organizational competencies or
the overall performance of the organization to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the products (Lam and
Lai, 2015). The implications of four primary natural resources, including air, water, soil, and minerals, as
well as energy resources, are being monitored (GRI, 2002). The contribution of the company to the local
quality of the air is monitored for healthy air resources. The use of water and water pollutants is regulated
to determine the availability of clean and healthy water. Both direct and indirect influences on land
resources can be regulated to reduce their consequences for soil and biodiversity. Soil contaminants
represent an important part of achieving environmental sustainability because they deplete soil resources.
Regulators also keep an eye on nonrenewable energy sources and fossil fuels to figure out how the company
affects these resources.
2.2.2. Social Sustainability
Modern companies are paying special attention to the social aspects of sustainable development due to the
pressure from stakeholders ranging from environmental to societal issues (Yawar and Seuring, 2017).
Aspects of social sustainability can address both internal and external human resource concerns. Internal
human resources may include job security, accommodation, health and safety, and capacity building
(Ahmadi et al., 2017a, b). Job stability covers the impact on a company's employment possibilities. Human
rights, fair working conditions, and gender equality are included in hiring practices. Health and safety
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techniques for preventing and treating accidents in health and safety are evaluated. Capacity development
focuses on two areas: research and development and employee development. The factors connected to the
external population are human capital, productive capital, and social capital. Human capital refers to
people's work skills or abilities and their ability to bring in money, while productive capital refers to specific
resources and infrastructure, people's needs to live meaningful lives, and the effect of organizational
interventions on social capital on community and institutional relationships.
2.2.3. Economic Sustainability
According to global reporting initiatives (GRI), economic sustainability is "an organization’s impacts on
the economic circumstances of its stakeholders and economic systems at the local, national, and global
levels" (GRI, 2002, p. 45). Organizations that achieve competitive advantages through economic and non-
viable capacities can survive in the long run, but they cannot contribute to economic systems at the local,
national, or global levels (Svensson, 2007). To ensure long-term survival, organizations must sustain their
economic stability and sustainability. Due to the variety of backgrounds potentially addressing
sustainability, the impacts produced by organizations are important in the discussion of these topics (Borim-
de-Souza and Zanoni, 2019). Sustainable development can be seen as an implied social reform
complemented by traditional development goals, which do not fully deny pollution and environmental
preservation policies (Lélé, 1991; O’Connor, 2002). As a result, the relationship between sustainable
development and organizations in the same field of competence extends beyond seeking the best definitions
and replicating the best organizational techniques, as it requires an appreciation of how sustainability is
approached, developed, and multiplied in organizational settings and behaviors. Thus, this study focuses on
the multidimensional and interdisciplinary perspectives of relationships between organizations and
2.3. Evolution of the Concept of Organizational Sustainability
From the review of a wider range of literature, this study shows the dynamics of the adoption of sustainable
practices in all business sectors around the world. An increasing emphasis on social and environmental
issues has led to environmental activities being part of several organizations' approaches, as seen in Rashid
et al. (2008) and Despeisse et al. (2012). They also identified the four key sustainable production techniques,
including (i) waste reduction, (ii) materials, (iii) energy, and (iv) eco-efficiency. Since the first United
Nations environmental conference held in Stockholm in 1972, the relationship between manufacturing
processes and composite environmental issues has begun to emerge (IPCC, 2013). The Stockholm
Declaration specified the notion of sustainability, known as the Brundtland Commission definition, for the
first time. It was later endorsed and accepted by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social
Affairs (UNDESA, 1987). Initiatives include a variety of activities in the form of rules, agreements, and
laws that are implemented at the national and international levels by various governments. Australia,
Belgium, Denmark, France, Norway, and the EU, among the most prominent countries, requested
environmental and sustainable monitoring (Shay, 2004). The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI, 20002002)
is widely accepted across all industries and is part of a larger range of reporting principles advocated by
several organizations. A global survey of 2000 corporations, including Fortune 250 companies, conducted
by Kolk et al. (2002) reveals growth in environmental sustainability reporting patterns in the oil and gas,
chemical, pharmaceutical, electronic, and automotive sectors depending on GRI principles. On the other
hand, academics and scientists have made a major contribution and emphasized the essential role of
chemical technology in evaluating the environmental orientation of manufacturing processes. Clark (1999)
says that understanding chemical processes helps to maintain a balance between natural resource
coexistence and industry competitiveness. Between 1995 and 2000, a variety of metrics for measuring
sustainable practices (such as effective mass yield, nuclear economy, mass intensity, mass reaction
intensity, and so on) were developed (Constable et al., 2002). Sheldon (1997) set up the "E Factor" as one
of the most common and easy-to-understand metrics:
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𝐸 𝐹𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑜𝑟 = 𝑇𝑜𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑤𝑎𝑠𝑡𝑒 (𝐾𝑔)
𝐾𝑔 𝑃𝑟𝑜𝑑𝑢𝑐𝑡
Beyond process-based challenges, sustainability is essentially a component of corporate social
responsibility, which begins with a fair understanding of environmental factors, economic and social
components, and the accountability of their public reporting. In 1969, the US government passed the
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to assure a balanced judgment between technological,
economic, ecological, social, and other considerations in the public's interest. Corporate environmental
responsibility (CER) is another unbiased concept that provides a manufacturing organization with greater
sensitivity in its approach to implementing sustainability (Seliger et al., 2008). Monitoring all measures
implemented by an organization to reduce environmental and social impacts is also an important component
of CER. Furthermore, past research indicates that various monitoring systems have been widely supported
over time by a variety of organizations and governments. These projects were launched to support, embrace,
and adopt sustainable thinking, practices, and collaboration with stakeholders from various business sectors
around the world. Table 1 shows a summary of some of the most important contributions from Goyal
(2014), Matteo Tonello (2015), and Chaturvedi et al. (2017), among others.
However, organizational sustainability is a multidimensional process based on efficiency and effectiveness
that focuses on results, knowledge, capacity building, networks of partners, and products and services. This
means that an organization's operations and production, strategy, and management have to keep
incorporating and integrating sustainability issues (Rodríguez-Olalla and Avilés-Palacios, 2017; Lozano,
2018). Changes in organizational sustainability considerations occur often throughout time. Thus, Rodrigo
and Iciar (2020) imply a high level of institutionalization; nonetheless, governance, management, strategy,
and operations and production are more important as change catalysts. According to Rodrigo and Iciar
(2020), it doesn't matter where sustainability reforms begin as long as they involve internal and external
stakeholders. When planning for sustainability reforms, the four dimensions of sustainabilitytechnical,
managerial, organizational, and stakeholdermust be considered comprehensively. On the contrary, Naciti
et al. (2021) predicted a high level of future growth for corporate governance and sustainability literature.
Studies on sustainability orientation have risen (e.g., Adomako, Ning, and Adu-Ameyaw, 2020; Roxas et
al., 2017), indicating a strong scholarly interest in the topic (for example, business, entrepreneurship,
management, and marketing). Rahman et al. (2022) establish and clarify multidimensional components
linked to human resource management, stakeholder consideration, and government involvement, along with
employee green and innovative behavior, toward the sustainability of manufacturing organizations.
Sustainability literature explores numerous goals, including the elements that drive sustainability
orientation (Danso et al., 2020; Hofmann, Theyel, and Wood, 2012), identifying sustainability orientation's
impact on firm performance (Adomako, Amankwah-Amoah, Danso, Konadu, and Owusu-Agyei, 2019),
and mitigating the sustainability orientation-performance linkage (Adomako et al., 2021; Amankwah-
Amoah, Danso, and Adomako, 2019).
The empirical evidence is ambiguous (Khizar et al., 2022), and it was discovered that some studies link a
firm's sustainability orientation to better organizational outcomes (e.g., Cheng, 2020), whereas others find
the opposite scenario (e.g., Amankwah-Amoah and Syllias, 2020). Thus, recent evaluations have revealed
that the literature lacks a cohesive conception of the organizational sustainability construct. For instance,
researchers have examined organizational sustainability within the context of strategic direction. A lack of
consensus regarding the definition of the concept of organizational sustainability may result in uneven
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Table 1: Timeline of Significant Global Developments in Sustainability
Significant Global Initiations
Major companies started reporting on sustainability including environmental performance
International Organization for Standardization (ISO14001) guidelines for corporate environmental
management system was accepted
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines were established as some voluntary
guidelines by the coalition for environmentally responsible economies (CERE) to have a
globally applicable framework for sustainability reporting
ISO 14040 came out with its first guidelines with a recommendation to use LCA for
products and processes in view to achieve sustainability
UN Global Compact network introduced fundamental principles for environmental protection
The second generation of GRI guidelines was launched at the World Summit on Sustainable
Development in Johannesburg.
Global compact leaders meeting held to discuss cross-sector collaboration.
The third version of GRI guidelines “G3” was published.
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, launched new guidelines, “Guidance
Regarding Disclosure to Climate Change” on February 2, 2010
ISO 26000 introduced new international guidance standards on social responsibility
Indian network of Climate Change released its first inventory of Green House Gas
emissions in India, making India the first developing nation to do so.
National voluntary guidelines (NVGs) released by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs airs, Government
of India, highlighting the need to integrate sustainability and inclusiveness into core business practice
G4, the fourth generation of the GRI sustainability reporting guidelines was launched in May 2013
The world federation of exchanges (WFE) launched a sustainability working group on March 25,
2014, to build consensus on environmental, social, and governance issues
China National Development and Reform Commission introduced a GHG reporting requirement the
companies that emitted more than13,000 metric tonnes of CO2 in 2010
Number of companies referencing GRI guidelines in their sustainability report increased from 25%
in 2013 to 31% in 2014, globally
World summit on climate change was held in Paris to set forward an ambitious goal of keeping global
warming well below 2 °C
Source: Chaturvedi, Danga, & Sarkar, (2017)
Our paper provides a thorough evaluation of the existing conceptualization and operationalization of the
concept of organizational sustainability. This study also describes how a greater emphasis on sustainability
studies might contribute to the literature on organizational sustainability in general.
3. Methodology
For a proper understanding of the claims made in any study of organizations, a holistic, humanistic, and
critical examination of the data is required (Vargas-Hernández, 2021). This study of organizational
sustainability considerations employs a critical analysis methodology based on multiple levels of textual
analysis that provide theoretical and empirical research on the topic at hand. The first focus of this critical
analysis is on the experiences of discrimination in the subject matter that is important to this study. The
important parts of the theoretical and empirical research papers are chosen, and the reasons why the subject
is supported are given, along with suggestions for appropriate assessment groups that are built into the
interpretation. The collection and choice of data sections are framed as an indication and allocated to the
correct categories, allowing for the identification of differences and similarities that may be used to
distinguish and explore the subjects following the documented examination. In the second phase of critical
analysis, the argumentation of the many contributors is examined to determine the beginning and end of the
sequencing and to limit the setting and surroundings within which the scholars establish their respective
ideas. The arguing sequences are recorded so that the argumentative structure can be inferred and
reconstructed. The reasoning in the scholarly work is based on the authors' convincing research, which finds
the likely causes that affect the soundness of the argument.
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Extensive analysis of the authors' reasoning tactics creates a meta-argumentative stage for such a research
study. These tactics legitimize data, opinions, and reasoning to increase awareness of the subject's
consequences. The entire research document is based on this argumentation and critical appraisal system,
highlighting the facts to be discussed, interpretations, and recommendations. Throughout this critical
examination, an image is developed of what may be linked to all of the works investigated from theoretical,
conceptual, and methodological perspectives in the intersections and discrepancies of argumentation
methods when setting and study type are considered. After the facts are verified, relevant academic
objections and improvements are identified.
4. Implications of the Study
This concept paper offers a wide range of applications. It distinguished sustainability concepts and
definitions from several perspectives, including technocentric, ecocentric, and sustaincentric perspectives.
As suggested previously, a substantial number of articles were confusing to readers since they used
ambiguous and occasionally inconsistent terms. This article highlighted this discrepancy and proposed a
basic arrangement for the gap between the various concepts and definitions of organizational sustainability
to reduce misunderstanding in future research. This categorization of sustainability acts as a common
ontology to make sure that all scholars and practitioners are on the same page and that the same terms are
used all over the world. Furthermore, this paper provided a thorough evaluation and analysis of many
concepts and definitions of organizational sustainability from its earliest stages to recent days. This
evaluation might help researchers outline their future directions and efforts in creating these concepts and
definitions to ensure organizational sustainability. They understand the need to design sustainable products.
Practitioners, on the other hand, can choose the most suitable one depending on their objectives, needs, and
settings. By understanding the reasons, limits, and support given in this article, practitioners can find
problems with the analysis and find ways to fix them.
5. Conclusions
Most of the studies highlighted sustainability as the long-term success that can be achieved by balancing
the three pillars of sustainable developmentsocial sustainability, environmental sustainability, and
economic sustainabilityinto a single, cohesive whole. On the contrary, the definitions and concepts of
organizational sustainability are varied in their nature and context. Some of them suggest shared
assumptions, values, and beliefs about organizational sustainability or a balance among the social,
environmental, and economic outputs that drive the organizational thinking process and practices. Hence,
organizational sustainability depends on the responsiveness and accomplishments of an organization. In
this paper, we propose a definition of organizational sustainability as a comprehensive organizational
strategy that strengthens the capacity to respond to environmental, social, economic, and political or
institutional dynamics through the achievement of competent leadership, a good talent pool, resources,
organizational behavior, and culture that solve sustainability problems and shape organizational
sustainability as a whole. In short, organizational sustainability is an action plan that leads to achieving
sustainability. This article also aims to provide some clarification by reflecting on the many concepts and
definitions provided in the literature as forms of sustainability consideration and evaluating their potential
benefits to organizational sustainability. This study also comes up with a different way to define
organizational sustainability, with the more ambitious goal of figuring out if an effort is really sustainable
or not.
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6. Limitations and Direction for Future Studies
This conceptual study identified sustainability concepts and definitions from multiple viewpoints, including
technocentric, ecocentric, and sustaincentric perspectives, as well as the social, economic, and
environmental elements of organizational sustainability. But this study doesn't talk about recent changes to
the concept and definition of organizational sustainability in terms of technology, management, institutions,
and politics. However, further case studies and qualitative research should be undertaken to see if there are
distinct conceptions and definitions of organizational sustainability. Explore changes in corporate
sustainability and their causes. A more individual and firm-level exploratory study would help define the
nature and notion of organizational sustainability. Future researchers are urged to use unconventional
methodologies and measurements in their empirical studies. Future scholars should do qualitative studies
to understand the interpersonal, organizational, and contextual components of organizational sustainability
(Khizar et al., 2022). Research on the sustainability of organizations can also be improved by using cultural,
technological, and institutional frameworks to compare different contexts and cultures regarding
organizational sustainability considerations (Khizar et al., 2022).
Author Contributions: Mostafizur Rahman and Professor Dr. Sazali Abdul Wahab conceived the idea,
and Mostafizur Rahman collected data and wrote the paper. Professor Dr. Sazali Abdul Wahab and Dr.
Ahmad Shaharudin Abdul Latiff supervised the work.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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... Therefore, a company's capacity to adapt and succeed is a key factor in its long-term viability. According to Rahman et al. (2022b), a sustainable organization is the product of conscious leadership, a deep pool of talent, ample resources, proactive employee behavior, and a pervasive culture that values longterm success. Concisely, "sustainability" refers to a strategy for achieving sustainability from environmental, social, and economic dimensions within an organization. ...
... According to Friedman (1970), socially responsible businesses should employ their resources on activities that would not result in long-term success to maximize profits (DuBois & Debois, 2012). The adaptability and success of an organization are crucial to its continued existence (Rahman et al., 2022b). Companies in the industrial sector particularly the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector need to pay more attention to societal and environmental concerns, stakeholder relationships, and employee conduct if they are to survive in the era of modern technology (Rahman et al., 2022a). ...
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... Friedman (1970) suggests that firms with social responsibility should use their resources to engage in actions that do not enjoy sustainable success to maximize their profits (DuBois and Debois, 2012). Organizational sustainability is contingent upon its responsiveness and achievements (Rahman et al., 2022b). They also claimed that organizational sustainability is a holistic organizational strategy that enhances the capability to adapt to environmental, social, economic, and political or institutional In keeping with Lewin's (1992) complexity theory, resistance management allows organizations to adjust to internal and external challenges. ...
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