Designing Personal Sustainability into Organizational Culture: The Case of Burning Man
Efforts to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of organizations has been ongoing for over a century, starting with the “scientific management” approach of Frederick Taylor and the “functions and principles” approach of Henri Fayol that gained popularity in the first two decades of the 1900s. More recently, the notion of sustainability—that is, the efficient use of energy and resources at both the personal and organizational levels—has been recognized as a contributor to developing competitive advantage. Personal sustainability contributes to organizational sustainability by raising awareness about sustainability at the organizational level, promoting engagement among members of an organization, and ensuring that individuals have the energy and resources to contribute to the overall mission of the organization. For this interplay to occur though, sustainability must be part of the organization’s core values. In this case study, we examine the culture of the annual Burning Man event in the Black Rock Desert of northwestern Nevada and explore how personal sustainability impacts the success of the event, while helping to create a strong cultural identity among participants known as “Burners.”
KeywordsQuality Sustainability Culture Design Burning Man
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