Sustainability in organizational context Reflections on the meanings attributed to the decision-making process and its strategic implications at Itaipu
Keywords:Sensemaking, Narrative analysis, Strategic decision-making, Organizational sustainability
Purpose – Discussions about sustainability in the organizational context present a blind spot. It appears when we ask if a company recognized as sustainable, keep what it means compatible with corporate sustainability premises and its values on the strategic decision process. In this context, the purpose of this paper is, on the light of sensemaking and the decision-making theory, to reflect on possible divergences between meanings attributed to sustainability, available on official documents, and the meanings identified in current actions and narratives related to sustainability goals in the researched organization. Design/methodology/approach – The research adopted a qualitative approach, characterized as descriptive, using as methods narrative analysis and documentary research, that were carried out from sensemaking theory. Findings – It was identified coherence between strategic statements and present sustainable actions. However, in view of theoretical reference used, it was identified an imprecision in sustainability perspectives of decision making. Inconsistency tends to promote internal resistance, difficulty to commit to all areas and prejudice long-term results. Research limitations/implications – Future studies should compare the decision-making meaning attributed to sustainability in companies of different market segments. Practical implications – The studied case shed light on the importance of managers having at their disposal a map that relates strategic objectives and actions aimed at sustainability. The lack of this compromises the organizational results focused on corporate sustainability. Originality/value – The understanding of the meanings attributed gives rise to perceptions of possible and relevant flaws in the alignment between the discourse and the practice of sustainability, supporting possibilities of the fine adjustments in strategic decision making.