Creating Integrated Value Through Sustainable Innovation: A Conceptual Framework

  • Wayne VisserEmail author
Part of the CSR, Sustainability, Ethics & Governance book series (CSEG)


In the context of a plethora of worsening social, environmental and ethical negative conditions often associated with economic growth and industrial activity, Integrated Value is proposed as a conceptual and practical framework for business to respond credibly and effectively as a force for innovation and solutions. In order to do so, the chapter begins by asking: how is value to society currently being destroyed by economic activities? Taking a systems science perspective, the answer is: whenever it causes fragmentation, or disintegration. This disintegration in society occurs in at least five principle ways, namely the five forces of fragmentation: disruption, disconnection, disparity, destruction and discontent. The next question is: how might this value destruction in society be countered or reversed? We find clues in innovations that are occurring in five emerging economic spheres: the resilience, exponential, access, circular and wellbeing economies. In each of these areas, there are breakthrough business models, practices, products and services that are building, rather than destroying, societal value. These are the five pathways to innovation, defined in terms of the desired future state they are trying to advance, which is a society that is more secure, smart, shared, sustainable and satisfying. Four strategic value-creation options are then described (singular, focused, diffuse and integrated value) before citing illustrative cases and describing the seven steps of a methodology to implement integrated value.


  1. Accenture. (2015). Digital density index: Guiding digital transformation. Accessed from
  2. Ackoff, R. (1999). Re-creating the corporation: A design of organizations for the 21st century. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Aid, C. (2004). Behind the mask: The real face of CSR. London: Christian Aid.Google Scholar
  4. Almeida, J., Domingues, P., & Sampaio, P. (2014). Different perspectives on management systems integration. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 25(3–4), 338–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. AMS and ING. (2017). Challenging business as usual: Conceiving and creating sustainability value through hybrid business models. Antwerp: Antwerp Management School.Google Scholar
  6. Blowfield, M. (2005). Corporate social responsibility—The failing discipline and why it matters for international relations. International Relations, 19(2), 173–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bolt, J., & Van Zanden, J. (2014). The Maddison project: Collaborative research on historical national accounts. The Economic History Review, 67(3), 627–651.Google Scholar
  8. Boulding, K. (1966). The economics of the coming spaceship earth. Environmental quality in a growing economy. In H. Jarrett (Ed.), Essays from the sixth RFF forum (pp. 3–14). Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Capra, F. (1984). The turning point: Science, society, and the rising culture. London: Bantam.Google Scholar
  10. Capra, F. (2014). The systems view of life: A unifying vision. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Crane, A., Palazzo, G., Spence, L., & Matten, D. (2014). Contesting the value of ‘shared value’. California Management Review, 56(2), 130–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Eckhardt, G., & Bardhi, F. (2015, January 28). The sharing economy isn’t about sharing at all. Harvard Business Review. Accessed from
  13. Elkington, J. (1994). Towards the sustainable corporation: Win-win-win business strategies for sustainable development. California Management Review, 36(2), 90–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Emerson, J. (2000). The nature of returns: A social capital markets inquiry into elements of investment and the blended value proposition. Harvard Business School Social Enterprise, Series 1, No. 17.Google Scholar
  15. Fargani, H., Cheung, W., Hasan, R., & Birkett, M. (2014). An integrated approach incorporating lean six sigma and life cycle assessment to support sustainable manufacturing. In: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Manufacturing Research. UK: Southampton Solent University, pp. 227–231.Google Scholar
  16. Freeman, R. (1984). Strategic management: A stakeholder approach. Marshfield: Pitman Publishing.Google Scholar
  17. Freeman, R. (2010). Managing for stakeholders: Trade-offs or value creation. Journal of Business Ethics, 96(Supplement 1), 7–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Friedman, M. (1970, September 13). The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits. The New York Times Magazine.Google Scholar
  19. Future Fit Foundation. (2016). Future fit business benchmark. Accessed from
  20. Gates, S., & Germain, C. (2010). Integrating sustainability measures into strategic performance measurement systems: An empirical study. Management Accounting Quarterly, 11(3), 1–7.Google Scholar
  21. GRI. (2011). G3.1 sustainability reporting guidelines. Amsterdam: Global Reporting Initiative.Google Scholar
  22. Hargadon, A. (2015). Sustainable innovation: Build your company’s capacity to change the world. Stanford: Stanford Business Books.Google Scholar
  23. Harman, W. (1998). Global mind change: The promise of the 21st century. Oakland: Berrett-Koehler.Google Scholar
  24. Hart, S. (1997). Beyond greening: Strategies for a sustainable world. Harvard Business Review, 75(1), 66–76.Google Scholar
  25. Hart, S. (2005). Capitalism at the crossroads: The unlimited business opportunities in solving the world’s most difficult problems. London: Financial Times/Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  26. Hawken, P., Lovins, A., & Lovins, L. (1999). Natural capitalism: Creating the next industrial revolution. Boston: Little, Brown and Company.Google Scholar
  27. Henderson, H. (1997). Building a win-win world: Life beyond global economic warfare. Oakland: Berrett-Koehler.Google Scholar
  28. Hertz, N. (2002). The silent takeover: Global capitalism and the death of democracy. Cambridge: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  29. IIRC. (2013). The international IR (integrated reporting) framework. Amsterdam: International Integrated Reporting Council.Google Scholar
  30. Institute for Economics and Peace. (2016). Global peace index 2016. Sydney: Institute for Economics and Peace.Google Scholar
  31. ISO. (2014). ISO/IEC directives, part 1, consolidated ISO supplement—Procedures specific to ISO. Geneva: International Organization for Standardization.Google Scholar
  32. Kanter, R. (1999). From spare change to real change: The social sector as beta site for business innovation. Harvard Business Review, 77(3), 122–132.Google Scholar
  33. Kaplan, R., & Norton, D. (1992). The balanced scorecard: Measures that drive performance. Harvard Business Review, 70(1), 71–79.Google Scholar
  34. Karnani, A. (2010, August 23). The case against corporate social responsibility. Wall Street Journal.Google Scholar
  35. King, M., & Roberts, L. (2013). Integrate: Doing business in the 21st century. Cape Town: Juta & Company.Google Scholar
  36. Klein, N. (2007). The shock doctrine: The rise of disaster capitalism. New York: Metropolitan Books.Google Scholar
  37. Koops, B., Oosterlaken, I., Romijn, H., Swierstra, T., & Van den Hoven, J. (Eds.). (2015). Responsible innovation 2, Concepts, approaches, and applications. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  38. KPMG. (2014). A new vision of value: Connecting corporate and societal value creation. Amsterdam: KPMG.Google Scholar
  39. Kymal, C., Gruska, G., & Reid, R. (2015). Integrated management systems. Milwaukee: ASQ Quality Press.Google Scholar
  40. Lacy, P., & Rutqvist, J. (2015). Waste to wealth: The circular economy advantage. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Laszlo, E. (2014). The chaos point: The world at the crossroads. London: Hachette.Google Scholar
  42. Linder, S., & Sexton, K. (2014). Pathway to linking risk and sustainability assessments. Toxics, 2, 533–550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Meadows, D., & Wright, D. (Eds.). (2008). Thinking in systems: A primer. London: Chelsea Green.Google Scholar
  44. Mitchell, R., Agle, B., & Wood, D. (1997). Toward a theory of stakeholder identification and salience: Defining the principle of who and what really counts. Academy of Management Review, 22(4), 853–886.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Mohamad, F., Abdullah, N., Mohammad, M., & Kamaruddin, N. (2013). Management systems integration for organizational sustainability: Quality, environmental, occupational health and safety, and energy. Applied Mechanics and Materials, 465–466, 1155–1159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Nicholls, A., Simon, J., Gabriel, M., & Whelan, C. (2015). New frontiers in social innovation research. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Oxfam. (2017, January). An economy for the 99%. Oxfam Briefing Paper.Google Scholar
  48. Plender, J. (2017, January 31). Trump blind to the global cost of protectionism. Financial Times.Google Scholar
  49. Porter, M., & Kramer, M. (2011). Creating shared value. Harvard Business Review, 89(1–2), 62–77.Google Scholar
  50. Prahalad, C. K., & Hart, S. (2002). The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid. Strategy+Business, 26, 54–67.Google Scholar
  51. PwC. (2015). The sharing economy. Consumer Intelligence Series. Accessed from
  52. Radjou, N., & Prabhu, J. (2015). Frugal innovation: How to do more with less. The Economist, London.Google Scholar
  53. Reyes-Mercado, P. (2016). Eco-innovations in emerging markets: Analyzing consumer behaviour and adaptability. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Russell, P. (1991). The awakening earth: The global brain. London: Arkana.Google Scholar
  55. Schaltegger, S., & Wagner, M. (2006). Integrative management of sustainability performance, measurement and reporting. International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation, 3(1), 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Schwab, K. (2016). The fourth industrial revolution: What it means, how to respond. Geneva: World Economic Forum.Google Scholar
  57. Smuts, J. (2013). Holism and evolution. Gouldsboro: Gestalt Journal Press.Google Scholar
  58. Stockholm Resilience Centre. (2017). What is resilience? An introduction to a popular concept. Accessed from
  59. The Economist. (2013, September 23). When did globalisation start?Google Scholar
  60. UNDP. (2016). Pursuing the 1.5°C limit: Benefits and opportunities. New York: UNDP.Google Scholar
  61. UNHCR. (2017, September). UNHCR statistical yearbook 2015 (15th ed.). Geneva: UNHCR.Google Scholar
  62. Visser, W. (2008, October 7). Is CSR failing? CSR International Blog.Google Scholar
  63. Visser, W. (2010). The age of responsibility: CSR 2.0 and the new DNA of business. Journal of Business Systems, Governance and Ethics, 5(3), 7–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Visser, W. (2012). CSR 2.0: Reinventing corporate social responsibility for the 21st century. Finalist paper in the long-term capitalism challenge of the Harvard Business Review/McKinsey M-Prize for Management Innovation.Google Scholar
  65. Visser, W. (2013, June 17). Creating shared value: Revolution or clever con? The Broker.Google Scholar
  66. Visser, W. (2017, January 4). How changing sustainable production could take us to Mars. World Economic Forum. Accessed from
  67. Visser, W., & Kymal, C. (2015). Integrated value creation: Beyond corporate social responsibility and creating shared value. Journal for International Business Ethics, 8(1), 29–43.Google Scholar
  68. Volans. (2016). Breakthrough business models: Exponentially more social, lean, integrated and circular. London: Business and Sustainable Development Commission.Google Scholar
  69. WHO. (2017). Noncommunicable diseases factsheet. Geneva: WHO.Google Scholar
  70. WHO, & World Bank. (2016). Investing in treatment for depression and anxiety leads to fourfold return. Washington: World Bank.Google Scholar
  71. World Bank. (2016). World development report 2016: Digital dividends. World Bank: Washington.Google Scholar
  72. WWF. (2016). Living planet report 2016: Risk and resilience in a new era. Geneva: WWF.Google Scholar
  73. Zadek, S., & Merme, M. (2003). Redefining materiality practice and public policy for effective corporate reporting. London: AccountAbility.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Antwerp Management SchoolAntwerpBelgium

Personalised recommendations