Social Sustainability for Business (Paperback) book cover

Social Sustainability for Business

By Jerry A. Carbo, Viet Dao, Steven J. Haase, M. Blake Hargrove, Ian M. Langella

© 2018 – Routledge

278 pages | 17 B/W Illus.

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About the Book

Social Sustainability for Business demonstrates the need for a transformational change to the way businesses across the globe operate. What has become the standard accepted "business model" with a focus on corporate profit, shareholder wealth maximization, and GDP growth, is no longer a sustainable business model for workers, consumers, communities, society, the planet or any of its inhabitants and ecosystems.

The authors argue that the current commercial system depletes natural resources, denigrates human rights, and inhibits positive social and technological innovation. To address these issues, they focus on societal goals—such as a sustainable planet, meeting human rights of workers, and safe products for consumers—and outline steps that organizations and individuals must take to achieve them. Readers will gain insight into the psychological barriers to and influences on sustainable behaviour. They will also learn how reconsidering corporate social responsibility and business ethics can stop and reverse the destruction of a profit-based approach. Cases on modern examples of sustainability or lack thereof (such as Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza tragedy, Wal-Mart’s supply chain management, and Costco’s sustainable employment practices) explain how establishing and maintaining a socially sustainable business system can protect the environment, meet the rights of its people, and ensure that their needs are met tomorrow.

End-of-chapter and end-of-case discussion questions will help students in sustainability classes to think critically about the practical impact of the topics discussed.


"Given the socio-ecological crises facing the world today, we need to look at not just conserving the planet, but healing it, not just modifications to existing systems and institutions, but radical transformations. In this textbook, the authors provide students with critical information to help us move in this direction."

Kent Walker, University of Windsor, Canada

"The authors succinctly present the story timeline of how many businesses have become unsustainable globally and how we can systematically address the need to turn this around. They have effectively tied together philosophy, business, economics, culture and politics to set the stage for today’s students’ study of sustainable enterprises. Furthermore, they provide potential solutions for moving forward with a holistic approach to sustainable business systems. I have been waiting for a book like this and will look forward to using in my teachings."

Claudia G. Green, Pace University, USA

"By directly challenging the profit maximization orthodoxy of the existing system of 'Destructive Advanced Capitalism' and by proposing a new system for socially sustainable business, this book will force business students and faculty to engage in a conversation that envisions business as part of a new social movement for justice."

Thomas Abraham, Kean University, USA

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction to Socially Sustainable Business Systems (SSBS)
  2. Business Practices of DAC
  3. The Advent of Socially Sustainable Business Systems
  4. Socially Sustainable Business Systems
  5. Socially Sustainable Business Systems, Employee Relations, HR Management and Employment Policy
  6. Sustainable Operations Management
  7. Sustainable Supply Chains
  8. IT and Sustainability
  9. Leadership for Sustainability
  10. Strategy and SSBS
  11. Psychology and Socially Sustainable Business Systems
  12. Why are we tied to Destructive Advanced Capitalism?
  13. How do we break the ties and move forward?

About the Authors

Jerry A. Carbo is Professor of Management at the John L. Grove College of Business at Shippenburg University, USA.

Viet Dao is Associate Professor of Management Information Systems at the John L. Grove College of Business at Shippenburg University, USA.

Steven J. Haase is a Professor in the Psychology Department at Shippenburg University, USA.

M. Blake Hargrove is Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at the John L. Grove College of Business at Shippenburg University, USA.

Ian M. Langella is a Professor of Supply Chain Management at the John L. Grove College of Business at Shippenburg University, USA.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development