Sustainability is of increasing significance for businesses, communities, and national economies around the globe. Sustainability addresses economic, environmental, and social issues, but it also incorporates cultural dimensions. In the face of globalisation, societies seek to preserve their cultural values and community identity, while still participating in the global economy.
In New Zealand the importance of sustainability issues has been recognised by central and local government policies, environmental and economic development agencies, and business leaders. Two of the active business groups focusing on these issues are the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development (NZBCSD) and the Sustainable Business Network (SBN). Waikato Management School is working in partnership with both of these key business groups on sustainability projects and events. The aim of these initiatives is to develop and share insights on sustainable economic development and sustainable enterprise success.
The Waikato Management School is distinctive in its commitment 'to inspire the world with fresh understandings of sustainable success'. These fresh understandings will be achieved through our high quality research that can influence policy makers, excellent teaching, through the knowledge and values our graduates take into the workforce, through our continued consulting with business and the outstanding experiences offered to everyone who connects with the School. We see education and research as key factors in enabling New Zealand to be a sustainable nation and sustainability as central to the future of business.
Waikato Management School's Research Programme
The School's research generates world-leading theory and practice-relevant research. The overall aim of the School's research is to shape management theory, influence business practice and inform public policy in New Zealand and around the globe. The School's research portfolio includes a wide range of theoretical and applied projects in all of the core management disciplines and in a series of multi-disciplinary research areas aligned with the government's strategic goals and the priorities of external funding agencies. Approximately one third of the School's publications over the past five years have focused in the areas of Social and Sustainable Development. Within the School's research programmes, faculty work collaboratively with many international scholars and a wide range of business, government and community groups.
Our Sustainability Research Agenda
Since the adoption of the theme of sustainable success in the School's purpose and strategic positioning, the numbers of faculty and postgraduate students involved in sustainability research projects has increased. As issues of sustainability impact on all management disciplines, research projects have been initiated in all of the School's subject areas. For example, ethical investments in financing, sustainability measures in accounting and economics, evolution of sustainable marketing, and cultural issues in tourism.
In this 2007 edition of the School's Sustainability Research report we have included short profiles of a series of sustainability research projects that are being conducted by Waikato Management School staff and doctoral students. We have grouped these research projects into four main topic areas:
Sustainable Development: includes research focusing on sustainability practices and policies, sustainable economic and regional development, sustainable biotechnology, sustainable tourism, and sustainable livelihoods.
- Corporate Social Responsibility: includes New Zealand and international research focusing on corporate social responsibility issues, theories and practices.
- Environmental Sustainability: includes research focusing on environmental resources, policies and their impacts.
- PhD Projects in Sustainability: includes current doctoral students whose thesis topics are focused on sustainability issues.
As our research agenda in these areas is growing rapidly, we will be updating this report regularly and putting this information on our website. If you would like more information on any of these projects, please feel free to contact the research staff directly. We would also be very keen to hear from you if you would like to participate in sustainability research projects with our staff.
Professor Delwyn N. Clark
Associate Dean Research, Waikato Management School