Sustainability and Its Impact on the Four Managerial Functions
Nowadays people all over Australia use their own environmentally friendly shopping bags when they go to the Supermarket. Why have so many people changed their every day habit and stopped using the convenient plastic bags? The transition from plastic bags to recycled ones is only one aspect of a global attitude change towards environmental topics. During the last few decades, businesses have been focusing on lowering their production costs, with no considerations on the consequences for the upcoming years. Today, organizations all over the globe are starting to change the way they operate in order to prevent an environmental crisis.
"Sustainability" is the new approach that has led to a change in many organization's Agendas. In other words, Sustainable development concentrates on existence for the long term without compromising the ability of future generations to fulfill their needs. There is no doubt that every organization is now facing the "Sustainable development" challenge, and has to embrace new management ways that will help saving the world's environment. This kind of change cannot occur in one day, and considers a major reform in the whole organization. Top managers, will have to make some crucial management choices that will affect manager's behavior in every level, and throughout the organization.
Businesses will have undergo a comprehensive process in order to become Sustainable. First, managers will have to embrace the concept of running a profitable organisation (or achieve the goals of a non profitable organizations) with consideration of environmental issues. Regardless of the manufactured product type, companies will have to operate in a way that benefits the customer, their employees, shareholders and society, without destroying the ability of future generations to prosper. In prior years, while managers used to set goals for their organization, their only consideration was how to maximize revenues, without paying attention to the created waste during the manufacturing process and the operation of the organization.
Nowadays, managers need to ensure that the manufacturing process is sustainable.
The "Lean Manufacturing" (Womack, Jones & Roos, 1990) term is a managerial philosophy which tries to eliminate waste as much as possible during the manufacturing process. For example maximize use and reuse of raw materials, decrease the amount of excess supply and defective products, effective shipping & handling and consecutive manufacturing process. The second factor managers must relate to is reduction in the amount of waste in the organization's building itself. For instance total consumption of water and energy should be minimized as well. Then, the organization's board has to structure its vision, and set specific goals relating to environment issues, for the upcoming years.
For illustration, for more than half a century The Coca Cola Company had put its...