"There is no one size fits all" : A case study of managers role, when implementing sustainability work in an organization - in a Malaysian context

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för organisation och entreprenörskap (OE); Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för organisation och entreprenörskap (OE)

Abstract: Abstract Introduction: Countries all over the world has through the UN Global Development Goals, Agenda 2030, voluntarily committed to work for an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable world. Countries may have different conditions for achieving the goals, and for managers this kind of change can result in higher expectations on the leadership. Malaysia is one of Southeast Asia's most economically developed countries, but within the country there are still knowledge and economic gaps. It appears that managers in a Malaysian context can face many challenges when implementing the sustainability work that Agenda 2030 requires. Previous research shows limitations in how managers implement and communicate sustainability issues, without it becoming too abstract and difficult for the employees to understand. Therefore, we consider it important to study this subject. Purpose: By examining how managers implement sustainability work, such as Agenda 2030, in the organization, we can gain a greater understanding of which aspects that are important in a change work and how managers deal with the increasing expectations. Research methodology: The study is a case study based on a qualitative research method with an inductive approach. Eleven recorded semi-structured interviews, with 22 questions, were conducted with various managers in a multinational Swedish company operating in Malaysia, including the CEO and the Sustainability manager of Southeast Asia. The theoretical framework is, from the empirical material, based on three themes- leadership in change, communication and create an understanding through learning. Result and analysis: The result from the study shows that the role of leadership, communication and creation of an understanding through learning are important aspects for a successful organizational change, which the sustainability work with Agenda 2030 brings.  Conclusion: We have found that leadership, communication and creation of an understanding through learning is three important aspects when managers implement sustainability work. This study shows that through good communication, continuous work with sustainability issues and contributing with the right education, managers can create an understanding and commitment in the implementation process for the employees. At the same time, it seems advantageous for managers to set a good example, have a good understanding for employees different conditions and opportunities, and that the context can play a big role when it comes to understanding and working with sustainability. Keywords: Sustainability, Agenda 2030, Organizational change, Leadership, Implementation, Communication, Learning  

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