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Title: Developing a sustainability assessment tool to aid organisational learning in construction SMEs
Authors: Upstill-Goddard, James D.
Glass, Jacqueline
Dainty, Andrew R.J.
Nicholson, Ian
Keywords: Absorptive capacity
Corporate social responsibility
Organisational learning
Sustainability assessment
Sustainability standards
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM)
Citation: UPSTILL-GODDARD, J. ... et al., 2015. Developing a sustainability assessment tool to aid organisational learning in construction SMEs. IN: Raiden, A.B. and Aboagye-Nimo, E. (eds). Proceedings of the 31st Annual ARCOM Conference, Lincoln, UK, 7 -9 September, pp. 457 - 466.
Abstract: Organisations engage with sustainability for a number of reasons, often implementing standards to demonstrate commitment to sustainability or benchmark performance. However, many scholars discuss sustainability from an operational or administrative perspective, largely neglecting the role of individuals making up the organisation. Central to organisational development are the learning processes of these individuals and how these translate into organisational learning. Although research into organisational learning is abundant, relatively little is known about how construction organisations, particularly those classified as SMEs, undergo learning processes in order to increase their knowledge. Furthermore, organisational learning requires high absorptive capacities (ACAP) and previous research has linked this with successful standard implementation. SMEs are often pressurised by customers to obtain certification to multiple standards, yet often lack the necessary expertise, and financial and time resources to implement these. This research argues that organisational learning is a key limiting factor in successful sustainability standard implementation. Specifically, the development phase of a sustainability self-assessment tool to identify environmental and social aspects most relevant to an organisation’s operations is presented. Following this, the tool then enables the level of organisational knowledge held about each of these aspects to be determined such that learning approaches are informed to increase learning and knowledge and hence absorptive capacities. The main components of this assessment tool are presented and rules for its operation and development established. Next steps for the assessment framework and suggestions for its applicability to construction product manufacturers are also offered.
Description: This conference paper was presented at the 31st Annual ARCOM Conference held on the 7th - 9th September 2015, in Lincoln.
Sponsor: This research forms part of an Engineering Doctorate (EngD) programme, sponsored by Responsible Solutions Ltd and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), managed through the Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering (CICE), based at the School of Civil and Building Engineering at Loughborough University. The support of all these parties is gratefully acknowledged.
Version: Published
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/20048
Publisher Link: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/0b9925e834b9c1dd365cd3237cc6cd7f.pdf
ISBN: 978-0-9552390-9-0
Appears in Collections:Conference Papers (CICE)

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