Skip main navigation

A powerful network

In this section we will be looking at sustainability as a social movement, and the power of internal and external networks.
A Powerful Network
© RMIT University 2017

Sustainability is a complex process in which several players with several roles, as well as many other elements, come into play. The main components of this large scale change are the economic, social and environmental elements, the wide range of stakeholders (representing communities and the ecology), investors and the many government regulations that need to be dealt with. As a result, “sustainability is to be seen as a social movement that extends beyond the corporation, […] despite inevitable differences of values and skill bases” (Benn, Dunphy & Griffiths 2014, p. 315).

Each business will have a combination of internal and external players. The internal network includes key staff members who can enable and support the change: HR personnel, managers, supervisors, senior executives, the board of management, CEO, general employees, etc. The external network constitutes various roles, including politicians, regulators, investors, customers, community and environmental activists, concerned citizens.

The power of this complex network is to be found in the acknowledgment of the different contributions and roles of the many players and, above all, in their ability and willingness to collaborate towards achieving a shared goal. Indeed, it is only through collaboration that green initiatives and programs are likely to succeed and last. However, this isn’t always an easy task. The various contributors involved may feel rather isolated and experience a lack of support regarding the creation of a green future. Every change agent will have a different impact, with some feeling their impacts are too small compared to operations and programs of a larger scale. To overcome these and many other challenges, more opportunities to form alliances and collaborations should be created to actualise a complex and powerful network.

Each green organisation will have a specific agenda for collaborative actions toward the change. Some of these actions will constitute the organisation’s internal agenda, while others will be part of the external agenda.

The table below outlines some of these agenda.

If you haven’t done so already, join LinkedIn, the site that assists professionals to find other professionals.
Use LinkedIn to search for external people who might be helpful to have in Amazing Fashion’s network.
Use a combination of keywords such as retail, ethical, India, Bangladesh, shoes, bags, leather.
Were there any surprising results? Share your results in the Comments area.
© RMIT University 2017
This article is from the free online

Business Futures: Sustainable Business Through Green HR

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now