R. Edward Freeman

University and Olsson Professor, The Darden School, University of Virginia, Virginia, USA

The essays in this new volume provide some context on the idea of sustainable development and is a welcome reference for scholars and managers alike. “Sustainable development” is one of those contested ideas that admits of multiple interpretations. This is its strength so long as we can compare and contrast the details of differing modes. This volume will assist us a great deal in this effort to make the idea more appealing to a broader audience.

It is especially heartening to see the authors and editor deal with the importance of multiple stakeholder relationships in unpacking how sustainable development can work in the real world. With chapters on both entrepreneurial thinking and the role of citizenship, the book offers a broad perspective on the environmental movement and its associated idea of sustainability. Recent trends on co-creating value with multiple stakeholders, social entrepreneurship, cultural diversity, and others all play an important role.

The authors of these essays have gone beyond the usual gloom and doom scenarios that one often finds in discussions of sustainable development, and they have, for the most part, avoided demonizing business organizations as the main underlying cause of environmental degradation. Perhaps we are truly making progress. Despite a political conversation that often goes nowhere, scholars and executives are actually getting about the important business of designing our organizations so that our children and grandchildren will be able to flourish. This book contributes a great deal to this process.

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