Why is it so hard to implement sustainability strategies into an organization? A case study of KappAhl’s sustainability strategy implementation
Abstract: Background and Problem: The whole value chain, from production to consumption and recycling, ispart of the sustainability challenges in the textile industry. The concept of sustainability is complex andintegrating it into the internal process of the organization is vital to reach success within sustainabilityand accomplish the SDGs by 2030. However, the gap between strategy and implementation is generallyhigh in organizations, and even if much literature is dedicated to why sustainability is essential, lessattention is focused on how it should be implemented and especially within sustainability strategies.Therefore, this report will examine the Swedish fashion company KappAhl to better understand thebarriers causing the gap.Purpose and Research question: This report aims to expand the knowledge about the implementationof sustainability strategies within companies to further understand the internal process of turningstrategies into reality. The research question is: What main factors cause the gap between sustainabilitystrategy formulation and implementation in the fashion company KappAhl?Method: The report is conducted through a qualitative case study of one company. A literatureoverview of the subject and semi-structured interviews with the case-company will be the foundationfor the data collection. Further, an analytical framework of eight affecting factors was created based onprevious literature within the subject and will be used to analyze the empirical data.Result and Conclusion: The result showed that the factors (1) Resources and (2) Management ControlSystem were the most significant barriers for implementation, followed by (3) Information system andCommunication. Moreover, (4) Organizational Structure, (5) Culture, (6) Power, Politics andLeadership and (7) Qualification and Learning, all had some deficient aspects that contributed to thegap and is therefore barriers in the implementation process, but not to the same extent as the ones above.The only factor that was not perceived as a cause of the gap at KappAhl was (8) Motivation.Further research: It would be interesting to study other similar companies to examine eventualdissimilarities. Also, to study the causes of highly motivated employees despite low incentives. Lastly,to examine how size affects the sustainability implementation in different companies.
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