Only a sustainable lifestyle can ensure affluence and quality of life also for future generations.
The prerequisite for it is a fundamental change of our way of living and managing. Not only are consumers called upon, but also the economy is confronted with a challenge.
- How can enterprises and their managers be motivated to act in a sustainable way beyond legal requirements?
- Which incentives would have to be created in order to achieve that the three target dimensions ecology, economy and social aspects rank equally in the value systems of actors and that optimisations are permanently aimed at in all three dimensions?
- How can it be prevented that goals in one dimension have a negative influence on the goals of other dimensions, but assured that in the ideal case they even have positive synergetic effects?
- How must strategic management tools be designed to be able to interrelate and to control the three dimensions?
The enterprise where Anne Little is developing pharmaceuticals is run by Carla Castell. The entrepreneur originates from a dynasty of entrepreneurs. Apart from the economic success the responsibility vis-à-vis the society and the environment have always played a crucial role for the family.
Mrs. Castell, too, takes her social responsibility seriously. A few years ago she launched patient training courses. This initiative, which has meanwhile been successful on an Austria-wide scale, aims first and foremost at helping children with chronic diseases like Asthma and diabetes and their parents to deal with the disease. Moreover, the year before the enterprise opened a house for parents whose children are treated at the municipal hospital over a longer period as inpatients and who have to commute for their visits several hundred kilometres per day. Also the health of the own staff members is important for the enterprise management. At regular intervals exercise courses are organised at the enterprise. At the canteen the staff members receive also a balanced meal. Mrs. Little is convinced that the entrepreneur takes the measures implemented seriously and that image or marketing considerations play only a subordinate role.
Her husband’s company as well has been orienting itself in its mission statement according to social responsibility vis-à-vis the society and the environment and its own employees; respective projects were presented on any occasion with great publicity. But as the shareholders wanted higher profits this was the end of social responsibility. At first long-standing staff members were dismissed and then the factory was completely closed down and the production was relocated to Asia. What’s about the social responsibility there nobody on the spot wants to know for the time being. For many enterprises social responsibility is obviously only a topic if it doesn’t cost anything, concludes Mrs. Little.