Sustainability Struggles: Conflicting Cultures and Incompatible Logics

Business and Society 58 (8):1496-1532 (2019)
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Introducing and implementing corporate sustainability poses many challenges to business organizations. In this longitudinal, inductive study, we focus on how such challenges are handled in a Dutch bank that is developing its sustainability policies. We examine why there is such a high degree of tension and conflict within the organization and identify how the development of these policies is affected by the interplay between subcultures and institutional logics. We show how different subcultures affect the enactment of logics by infusing the rational and mindful behavior coming from logics with (sub)cultural values, beliefs, and assumptions. In turn, conflicting logics amplify subcultural characteristics between groups by shaping different behavior and practices. Together, this leads to a magnification of subcultural differences while, at the same time, logics are increasingly being perceived as incompatible.



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