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Strategic Communication for Sustainable Organizations - Myria Allen

Year 2016


ForewordChapter 1 Sustainability and Communication1.1 Why Sustainability and Why Now?1.1.1 Sustainability and Strategic Ambiguity1.2 What Are Organizational Actors Doing?1.3 Why Communication?1.3.1 Communication Challenges Organizations Face1.3.1.1 Fear of Speaking Out1.3.1.2 Messages Not Processed1.4 What Are We to Do?1.5 Concluding ThoughtsReferencesChapter 2 Changing Paradigms, Shifting Societal Discourses, and Organizational Responses2.1 The Trail Blazers: An Example of Organizational Change2.2 Changing Discourses: The Organization-Environment Interface2.2.1 Paradigms and Discourses in Societies2.2.1.1 The False Dichotomy Between Jobs and the Environment2.2.1.2 Difficult Conversations and Discursive Closure2.2.2 Paradigms and Discourses in Organizations2.3 What Are the Major Discourses?2.3.1 Do We Face Global Limits?2.3.2 How Can We Solve the Problems We Face?2.3.3 What About Something a Bit More Radical?2.3.4 Ecological Modernization and Sustainable Development2.3.4.1 The Promise of Ecological Modernization and Limited Political Will2.3.4.2 The Shift Toward the Sustainability Discourse2.3.4.3 Critics of the Ecological Modernization and Sustainability2.4 We Must Reframe the Issue2.4.1 Changing Frames Is Contested2.4.1.1 Efforts to Control the Discussion2.4.1.2 Changing Language Use2.5 Concluding ThoughtsReferences Chapter 3 Legitimacy, Stakeholders, and Strategic Communication Efforts3.1 Legitimacy3.1.1 Legitimacy, Reputation, and Influence3.1.2 Discussing Sustainability Within and Between Institutional Fields3.2 Actions Organizations Take to Influence Legitimacy3.2.1 Changing Business Performance3.2.2 Changing the Normative Environment3.2.3 Creating New Standards3.2.4 Changing Descriptions and Absorbing Information3.3 Communication and the Strategic Approach to Legitimacy3.3.1 Credible Communication and Greenwashing3.3.2 Annual Meetings, Sustainability Reporting, Websites, and Architecture3.3.2.1 Annual Meetings3.3.2.2 Reporting About Sustainability3.3.2.3 Certifications3.3.2.4 Architecture and Visual Rhetoric3.4 Stakeholders3.4.1 Adapting Messages to Stakeholders3.4.2 Communication and Stakeholder Engagement3.5 Concluding ThoughtsReferences Chapter 4 Understanding Pro-Environmental Behavior: Models and Messages4.1 Individual Values Regarding Sustainability4.1.1 Differentiating Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs4.1.2 Research into Environmental Values4.2 Stimulating Pro-Environmental Behaviors: Persuasion and Social Influence Theories4.2.1 Persuasion Theories and Research4.2.1.1 Best Practices Provided by the Persuasion Theories4.3 Pro-Environmental Behavior4.3.1 The Tentative Link Between Values, Attitudes, and Behavior4.3.2 Models of Pro-Environmental Behavior4.3.2.1 Linear Progression Models4.3.2.2 Altruism, Empathy, and Prosocial Behavior Models4.3.2.3 Several Sociological Models4.3.2.4 The Importance of Motivation4.3.2.5 Lessons Learned from Energy Reduction Studies4.3.2.6 A Workplace Model Focusing on Goals4.3.2.7 Best Practices Provided by Pro-Environmental Behavior Theories4.4 Pro-Environmental Behaviors and Communication4.4.1 Social Marketing4.4.2 Health-Related Models4.4.3 Communication Campaign Interventions4.4.3.1 Best Practices from Health and Communication Campaign Literatures4.4.4 Message Design and Content4.4.4.1 Messages Emphasizing Normative Beliefs, Altruism, Gain vs. Loss, and Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Appeals4.4.4.2 Additional Persuasive Arguments4.4.5 The Role of Interpersonal Communication4.5 Concluding ThoughtsReferences Chapter 5 Transformational Organizational Change, Reinforcing Structures, and Formal Communication5.1 Transformational Change5.2 Diffusion of Innovations5.2.1 Information and Useable Knowledge5.2.1.1 Where Employees Learn About Sustainability-Related Issues5.2.1.2 Those Who Process External Information to Create Knowledge5.2.1.3 Absorptive Capacity Is Critical5.2.2 Factors Influencing Innovation Adoption5.2.2.1 Innovation Characteristics5.2.2.2 Social System Characteristics5.2.2.3 Systems Thinking5.2.2.4 Influential Communicators About Innovation5.3 Communicating About the Changes5.3.1 Change Is a Process5.3.1.1 One Size Does Not Fit All5.3.2 Successful Communication of Change Initiatives5.3.2.1 Practical Suggestions5.4 Formal Efforts to Embed Sustainability Within an Organization5.4.1 Structural Change5.4.1.1 Structural Planning and Boundary Objects5.4.2 Formal Organizational Communication5.4.2.1 Formal Communication Channels5.4.2.2 Formal Communication Documents5.4.2.3 Mission Statements and Guiding Principles5.4.2.4 Goals and Plans5.4.2.5 Measurement and Communication5.5 Concluding ThoughtsReferences Chapter 6 Using Communication to Create Environments That Empower Employees6.1 Pro-environmental Employee Behaviors6.2 Organizational Cultures, Employee Socialization, and Training6.2.1 Organizational Cultures6.2.1.1 Learning Organizations6.2.1.2 The Managerial Subculture6.2.2 Hiring, Socializing, and Training Employees6.2.2.1 Hiring6.2.2.2 Socialization6.2.2.3 Training6.3 Goal Clarity and Goal Congruence6.3.1 Goal Congruence6.3.2 Goal Activation6.3.2.1 Expectancy Theory6.3.2.2 Equity, Justice, and Rewards6.4 Organizational Climate, Perceived Support and Trust, Emotional State, and Informal Communication6.4.1 Organizational Climate6.4.2 Perceived Organizational Support and Trust6.4.3 Emotional State6.4.4 Informal Communication6.5 Engaging and Empowering Employees6.5.1 How Organizations Engage Employees6.5.2 Challenges Mobilizing Employees Around Sustainability6.5.3 Employee Engagement Outlets at Work, at Home, and in the Community6.5.3.1 Green Teams6.5.3.2 Personal Sustainability Plans6.5.3.3 Preparing Employees to Communicate the Sustainability Message6.6 Concluding ThoughtsReferences Chapter 7 Facilitating Group Collaboration7.1 Intraorganizational Groups7.1.1 Small Group Decision-Making and Problem-Solving Processes7.1.1.1 Functional Group Decision-Making Theory7.1.1.2 Resources for Improving Decision Making7.1.2 Dialogue and Learning7.1.3 Group-Level Techniques for Frame Breaking and Building7.1.3.1 Creating Chaos to Allow for Creativity7.1.3.2 Stimulating Appreciative Inquiry Around Sustainability7.1.3.3 Symbolic Convergence Theory and Shared Interpretations7.1.3.4 Limiting or Unleashing Creativity7.2 Interorganizational Collaboration (IOC) Efforts7.2.1 Common Characteristics of and Theories Explaining IOCs7.2.1.1 Theories Applied to IOC7.2.2 Communication and Emergent Structure7.2.3 Learning Within an IOC7.2.3.1 Communities of Practice and Sustainability7.2.3.2 Power Dynamics Within IOCs7.2.3.3 Learning-Related Best Practices for IOCs7.2.4 The Role of Language and Texts Within IOCs7.2.4.1 The Creation of a Collective IOC Identity7.2.4.2 Using Language to Create New Possibilities7.2.4.3 Strategic Ambiguity Within IOCs7.2.4.4 The External Communication of IOC Alliances7.2.5 Additional Best Practices for IOCs7.3 Supply Chains7.3.1 What Is a Sustainable Supply Chain?7.3.2 How and Why Does the Idea of a SSC Spread? SSCM as a Reactive Response7.3.2.2 SSCM as a Proactive Response7.3.3 Major Theories Applied to SSCM7.3.4 The Governance of Supply Chain Behaviors7.3.5 Challenges/Barriers Facing Sustainable Supply Chains7.3.6 Communicating Within and About Supply Chains7.3.6.1 Communicating About Supply Chains in Sustainability Reports7.4 Concluding ThoughtsReferences Chapter 8 Our Shared Journey Toward Sustainability8.1 The Importance of Communication8.2 The Importance of Theory8.3 Messages to Researchers and Practitioners8.3.1 Message to Researchers8.3.1.1 Actions for Researchers to Consider8.3.2 Message to Practitioners8.3.2.1 Actions for Practitioners to Consider8.3.2.2 Suggestions Provided By Interviewees8.4 Wisdom and Spirituality8.4.1 What Is Wisdom?8.4.2 Spirituality and the Right Thing to Do8.5 Concluding Thoughts References
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