Discussing and analysing Theories and Applications of Sustainability

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The topic of interest is sustainability, which is described as the use of resources to maintain a standard of living that allows the society to gratify its current needs without reducing the standard of living for the following generations (VMS,2010,p.605). Sustainability is important in any society as it generates innovation in the economy producing economic growth and greater standards of living. This assignment on sustainability will summarise articles on strategic management, Maori business and operations management stating their frameworks, concepts or theories and clarifying how the journal is related to sustainability. It will also contain an analysis of sustainability in Aotearoa New Zealand where it will be compared and contrasted with the literature search. The analysis will then summarise the information on Sustainability in Aotearoa New Zealand in Appendix 4, compare and contrast it against the journal articles relating to success and sustainability of an organisation also stating the key frameworks, concepts and theories. Finally a discussion on how strategic management, organisational behaviour, Maori business and operations management frameworks, concepts and theories interrelate also how these disciplines are interrelated to enable VUW to become competitive. Also there will be an insight on how I could offer management.

Literature Search

The journal article "Innovation's Holy Grail" develops on a framework that creates affordability and sustainability which will increase the progress of effective innovation (Prahalad,C. K.&Mashelkar R.A.2010). The article explains how companies must make their products accessible to a wider range of people by selling goods more cheaply. Organisations are responding to this challenge by developing strategies that allow them to produce more products with fewer resources, enabling producers to sell their goods more cheaply, leading to sustainably. Developed countries are struggling to adapt to this new framework whereas developing countries such as India have tackled the challenge head on, allowing them to design inexpensive products with little capital, by practicing three types of innovations, disrupting business models, modifying organisational capabilities and creating or sourcing new capabilities which are known as "Grandian Innovation" (Prahalad,C. K.&Mashelkar R.A.2010). The article is relevant to sustainability as it emphasizes the importance of innovation and how it will aid organisations to develop strategies and use resources more efficiently; causing a decrease in prices and cost of production which will satisfy consumer needs without interfering with standards of living.

The article 'Indigenous Populations and Sustainable Development: Buildings on Indigenous Approaches to Holistic, Self Determined Development', this article develops on the theory about indigenous (Maori) people suggesting alternative approaches towards growth development compared to the Western approaches (Terrence M. Loomis, 2000). It suggests the frameworks, social capital and culture respect will help incorporate holistic values into tribal development without threatening business operations. This article is related to sustainability, it highlights how culture is a concept to gaining sustainability as it is passed down through generations "research confirms that vital culture institutions and effective governance are important in achieving successful development as defined by tribes" (Terrance M, Loomis, 2000, pg 896). Also it provides an understanding of how tribes achieve sustainable development by using a holistic approach.

"Critical Success Factors and Challenges to develop new Sustainable Supply Chains", talks about the supply chain and sustainability and how they are developing due to sustainability and its focus on environmental management operations (Linton, Klassen, & Jayaraman, 2007) This article is based mainly on frameworks as the steps and sequences it provided show the interaction between the supply chain and sustainability. The steps include, by-products produced during product use, product design, manufacturing by-products, product life extension, product end of life and recovery processes at end-of-life. This is relevant to sustainability as the ideas of the supply chain looks at optimizing operations in a wider view; this could be looking at considerations of the natural environment and its social issues (Linton, Klassen, & Jayaraman, 2007).


The chapter on "Is sustainability important to Aoteroa New Zealand" recognises sustainability as, the use of resources to maintain a standard of living that enables society to satisfy its current needs without reducing the standard of living for future generations (VMS,2010). The quest for sustainability has been a driving force for organisations to re-think their practices, due to the impact on the environment. Stats show New Zealanders have started to consider the ramifications of their neglect towards the environment as Auckland increased their waste production by 75% since 1983. The article gives three main reasons businesses set out to develop sustainable practises. One is a reflection of management values which means practises are developed to reflect top management. If the board of directors is homogeneity, they are likely to share values relating to sustainability, these values can be spread throughout the firm (VMS,2010). The second reason is known as "greenwashing" which is giving on impression that one supports sustainability but actually exploiting the practice to generate better financial returns (VMS,2010). The last reason is the opportunity to exploit a sustainable niche, which is done by an entrepreneur recognises a niche for their products that are sustainable in themselves, an example is Ecostore which manufacture and promote natural products (VMS,2010).

Businesses are using sustainable practices for three reasons: management values, improving public image and return on investment. Organisations involved included the Government who are also part of the Kyoto Protocol, which focus on global emissions and air pollution. Non-governmental organisation such as Sustainable Business Network provide business leadership methods and deal with areas in sustainable transport issues, climate change, energy efficiency, triple bottom lining and waste reduction. The two main reasons New Zealand businesses have not yet adopted sustainable practices are due to the large cost associated with designing and implementing sustainable practices and the amount of time required to implement them. (VMS,2010,p.604-613).

A comparison between the SM journal article and the appendix is that both of them agree on the fact businesses need to develop sustainable practises, as without sustainability resources would be used inefficiently or depleted. In the journal article more efficient use of resources have led to cheaper goods allowing for businesses to be more sustainable (Prahalad,C. K.&Mashelkar R.A.2010) whereas in the appendix recognition of the damage to the environment and how to adapt to changers will allow for a sustainable future for society and the economy (VMS,2010,p.604-613). Another comparison is both have realised sustainability is key ingredient for what they are trying to achieve. In the journal article without sustainability greater innovation would not have been attained, while in the appendix without sustainability environmental projects design to help the environment and the three key business development practices would not have been accomplished. Finally they both promote sustainability practices through frameworks. The two readings also contrast with each other, as stated above they both promote sustainability practices through frameworks but have different approaches. In the article there are three stages: disrupting business models, modifying organisational capabilities and creating or sourcing new capabilities, which are used to develop innovation and sustainability. The appendix states, to build a sustainable nation you require smart, active government working with key stakeholder across the economy and the society (VMS,2010,p.607).

The MB article and the Appendix both suggest the theory of sustainability is not being applied without government intervention. "Some argue that the government should pay a more integral role in the enforcement of sustainable practices..." (VMS, 2010, pg 613). Also a quote from the MB article states "Sustainable Development is unlikely to be accomplished without a fundamental shift in the way governments and development agencies do business, from policy formation to implementation" (Terrance M, Loomis, 2000, pg 902). Therefore the position played by the government is believed to be important for both article and appendix. The Appendix and the MB article develop on the contrast; governmental aspects which execute different ideas. The MB article believes governmental aspects such as the Treaty Settlements and Hui Taumata to gain sustainability. "The refocusing of mainstream government programs is overcoming Maori disadvantages and the increasing number of educated Maori the pace of Maori economic development has accelerated..." (Terrance M, Loomis, 2000, pg 897). In the Appendix the Kyoto Protocol, greenhouse effect and Rio Declaration are used to measure sustainability. (VMS, 2010, pg 604-613)

The comparison between the Appendix and the Operations Management article is based on how the environment needs to be considered in the present and future, and how sustainability has lead to an increase in environmental growth. The triple bottom line approach promotes a better understanding of environmental issues such as pollution for businesses (VMS, 2010, pg 605). The contrast between the appendix and the article is that they both develop on sustainability through sustainable practises and supply chains. The article looks at increasing operations form a wider perspective by looking at different trends of legislation and changes to the environment (Linton, Klassen, & Jayaraman, 2007). The appendix states, having sustainable practises is a key aspect in development of businesses, through the production of sustainable products. . (VMS, 2010, pg 604-613)

A-Success of an organisation

Text Book

Strategy: SM theory, a comprehensive plan guiding resource allocation to achieve long term goals, helping with the future success of an organisation (VMS, 2010, p.239)

The quadruple bottom line: is a common concept Maori use which involves economic, environmental, social and cultural aspects. Maori businesses use their family values to achieve success by ensuring assets (VMS,2010,pg179)

Lecture Notes

Communication Process: OB framework which are, highly interpersonal and communication intensive, foundation for effective leadership, influence people/behaviour, good communicator to handle issues and attributes employers look for in job candidates (Dr Kala S Renta,2010)

Pluralism: MB concept is highly relevant towards the success of a business, as it allows for development of a common tradition, providing different skills and knowledge. Creates understanding of culture, tradition and experience enhancing communication increasing business success (Best,2010)


Competitive Advantage: SM concept, being able to outdo your competitors, (Cynthia A Montgomery, 2008)

Education: In the article Indigenous Populations and Sustainable Development: Buildings on Indigenous Approaches to Holistic, Self Determined Development' (Terrence M. Loomis, 2000) supports education as a key aspect to success as the Maori youth is losing their cultural identity "No youth under the age of 15 were able to speak Maori (Terrence M. Loomis, 2000,pg 899)

Other source

Team Work: OB concept which is extremely beneficial to organisations, allows shared learning and higher motivation, (Dr Kala S Renta,2010)

The Input-Transformation-Output: is an Operations Management framework, it helps the understanding of all elements in a value chain and links board and narrow perspectives (Chong,2010)


Lecture Notes

SWOT: SM framework that analysis a business's Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threads (Daellenbach,2010)

Six Sigma: is a disciplined methodology of defining, measuring, analysing, improving, and controlling the quality of a company's products (Chong,2010)


Innovation: SM concept in the article "Innovation's Holy Grail", creating a sustainable business and to take a new idea and develop on it.

Communication: is relevant to sustainability as indigenous rely on communication to implement concepts and influence peoples behaviours

Text Book

Porter's five: SM framework, industry competition, new entrants, substitute products, bargaining power of suppliers and bargaining power of customers. (VMS,2010.p.246)

Supply chain management: is an operations management concept which helps make organisations more sustainable by helping them achieve efficiency in all aspects of the supply chain. (VMS, 2010 p520)

Other source

McGregor's theory X and Y: OB theory developing on mangers giving more attention to social needs. (VMS,2010.p.2010)


Organisational behaviour, strategic management, operations management and Maori business can all be seen to be interrelated because they most likely can't function without each other. Organisational behaviour, strategic management, and operations management are interrelated with the intentions of improving everyday operations with different concepts, theories and frameworks. These disciplines implement strategies and ideas that aim to work towards a common goal by using people and resources. Sometimes they relate in ways which they cannot work without each other, people are the key for these ideas as each concept and theory is how people manage , understand and work towards a the goal of becoming successful and sustainable. Maori business interrelates even though it has some different values; it is based on strategies to develop sustainability and looks at maintaining long term goals of the organisation. It looks at how family values and cultural concepts have the ability to influence motivation and create sustainable developments within businesses. All four disciplines help each other work towards a common goal, they also have key managerial roles of good leadership through economical and environmental practices, and sometimes cultural understanding can implement these so organisations can have the best possible gains.

As organisational behaviour, strategic management, operations management and Maori business can be interrelated; these different practises can unable Victoria University to become more coemptive by using different concepts, theories and frameworks. These concepts can help the university to understand how they can become more sustainable and allow them to instigate their own frameworks. By using framework it allows the University to customize them if need be to enhance student/management relationships and allow for open communication to enable the University to gain a competitive advantage.

For a business to maintain its operations it is reliant on its employees, customers and stakeholders to work together and develop strong relationship so each other's goals can be achieved, allowing the business to gain an advantage over others. This shows the developing a teamwork that has good organisational behaviour and has implemented a strategic management goal, success can be achieved through two parts of management. Maori business brings in its own values and culture to help influence people to work together. Operations management brings forward the supply chain and adds value to achieve sustainability and also uses organisational behaviour to help motivate people.

Victoria University is always looking for ways to save resources and money. Strategic management can be used by the University to encourage students to take the stairs rather than use the elevators, decreasing power consumption and cost. They can also invest in sensors or timers on the lights, therefore the lights wouldn't be lift on all day wasting power and saving money. They can also use Organisational Behaviour to motivate students to use stairs rather than the elevators; furthermore the University can gain feedback from students about new incentives and new ways in which the University could save resources and money. Maori business values of family can be used influence friends and communities to take the stairs. Operations Management can allow for evaluation on how the University could take different approaches to save money, they can evaluate the amount of money being saved from students and staff taking the stairs rather than the elevators.

The amount of money the University can save from the use of the elevators would be very beneficial. The saved money can go towards providing more resources for students, such cheaper text books or even allow the University to refurbish old infrastructure. If the University can understand sustainability sooner rather than later, they can start to plan towards the future and set long term goals to allow them to gain a competitive advantage, as maintaining sustainability and future goals provides Victoria University to stay one step ahead.

An insight I could offer management is that all businesses should develop goals before they commence production. The goals can be quite general such as increasing sales figures every couple of months. By developing a reasonable goal for organisations to head towards, businesses should expect higher productivity as goals provide targets for staff to work towards "Research suggests that individuals can achieve an improvement in work performance by as much as 20-25% simply by goal setting." (Centre of Management and Organization Effectiveness,2010), also incentives could be provide such as bonuses to encourage staff to maintain their productivity so the goal can be achieved.