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Business and Professional Ethics Journal

Volume 31, Issue 3/4, Fall 2012

Andrew C. Wicks, Adrian Keevil, Bobby Parmar
Pages 375-398

Sustainable Business Development and Management Theories
A Mindset Approach

There is growing appreciation of the challenges posed by our current economic activity in terms of the natural environment. Increasingly, people have come to appreciate that business must not only be more aware of its environmental impact, but also must be more environmentally sustainable in its core operations. Academic theories of management influence managerial practice. They clarify what is important to the corporation, and where managers and employees should direct their attention. The focus of this paper is to explore the extent to which three possible managerial mindsets—shareholder value maximization, stakeholder value maximization, and the triple bottom line—may either enhance or inhibit the ability of corporations to manage in an environmentally sustainable way. We discuss the implications of each of these mindsets and highlight their relative strengths and weaknesses, noting that all three hold promise, but each has limitations in enabling managers to operate sustainably.

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