Thriving on sustainable development: sustainable autopoietic organisations

Hans Robert, V.R. 2013. Thriving on sustainable development: sustainable autopoietic organisations. PhD thesis University of Westminster School of Law

TitleThriving on sustainable development: sustainable autopoietic organisations
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsHans Robert, V.R.
Abstract

This

doctoral

thesis

theorises

on

how

business

organisations

have

reacted

to

the

legal

principle

of

Sustainable

Development.

The

proposition

is

that

Sustainable

Development

is

an

event-­‐driven

principle

of

becoming

where

the

present

depends

both

on

the

organisation’s

environment

and

its

internal

operations.

The

starting

point

of

the

research

is

the

observing

of

decisions

made

in

relation

to

Sustainable

Development

covering

a

period

of

around

ten

years.

This

is

based

on

four

distinctions

resulting

in

a

structural,

processual,

motivational

and

functional

understanding

of

the

organisations

in

question.

The

theoretical

framework

is

based

on

Niklas

Luhmann’s

theory

of

social

systems,

emphasising

his

theory

of

organisations,

contributing

new

knowledge

on

how

organisations

react

to

their

environment,

the

consequence

of

a-­‐centricity,

poly-­‐contexturality

and

the

un-­‐

steerability

of

society.

Firstly,

the

thesis

demonstrates

that,

for

the

companies

involved,

Sustainable

Development

has

resulted

in

a

better

use

of

resources,

both

natural

and

human

and

consequently

capital.

Secondly,

the

result

cannot

be

attributed

only

to

internal

industry

decisions

but

significantly

also

to

the

direct

or

indirect

involvement

of

NGOs

and

other

irritants.

Thirdly,

Sustainable

Development

can

be

highly

attributed

to

law

but

when

the

environment

of

law

is

not

satisfied,

rules

of

behaviour

outside

the

legal

framework

are

created

by

organisations

such

as

NGOs.

The

research

shows

that

Sustainable

Development

is

not

a

recipe

for

success

in

itself

but,

without

it,

long-­‐term

profit

is

not

possible.

There

is

a

structural

coupling

between

NGOs,

businesses

and

legislators

and

this

can

be

seen

in

the

way

they

communicate

with

each

other.

It

is

clear

that

although

relevant,

law

is

not

the

only

mechanism

and,

in

some

cases,

not

even

the

best.

Rather

than

forcing

businesses

into

a

specific

legal

framework

the

best

available

solution,

consistent

with

theory

and

application,

is

for

business

organisations

to

reduce

difference

between

themselves

and

their

environment

through

self-­‐steering

when

it

comes

to

Sustainable

Development

and

to

increase

difference

when

it

comes

to

organisational

differentiation.

Year2013
FileHans_Robert_von_RETTIG.pdf
Publication dates
Published2013

Related outputs

No related outputs available.

Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/8yzz7/thriving-on-sustainable-development-sustainable-autopoietic-organisations


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