In Search of Sustainability
In this chapter, the authors examine the concept of sustainability. They establish sustainability as both an ideal end state for a world dominated by business organizations pursuing the values, principles, and practices of sustainable strategic management, and a viable transformational process that can help humankind to achieve this end state. The authors discuss some of the basic scientific concepts that help ground sustainability in well-established scientific frameworks with regard to the relationships between economic activity, society, and nature. They also shows that the Earth is a living system, that the relationships among the Earth's components are coevolutionary, that economic activity on Earth is subject to the laws of thermodynamics, and that economic activity on Earth is metabolic in nature. At the heart of sustainable strategic management is the understanding that the impacts of economic activity should be measured on their ecological and social as well as economic outcomes.