Organization Management Journal


Multiple forces in the 21st century have propelled businesses into confronting conditions that challenge their own and the world’s sustainability. This paper illuminates the factors influencing companies to implement sustainability practices. It validates an integrative model of the effects that external influences, foundational organization enablers, decision drivers, and inhibitors had on both sustainability implementation and organizational performance. Using data from a worldwide survey of 1514 managers, we showed how external forces for sustainability and support from organizational leaders to create an enabling foundation are likely to translate into decision priorities, implementation of sustainability practices, and perceived performance improvement. We also showed the considerable power of internal inhibiting forces and outlined how they may be overcome. The results point to the steps leaders can take to achieve their environmental, social, and financial goals, as well as to further streams of inquiry.