Encyclopedia of Sustainable Management

Living Edition
| Editors: Samuel Idowu, René Schmidpeter, Nicholas Capaldi, Liangrong Zu, Mara Del Baldo, Rute Abreu

Communication and Innovation

  • Dusan Stojanovic
  • Myria AllenEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-02006-4_445-1



Organizations face increasing pressures in the form of environmental disasters, resource depletion, and societal and industry demands which require them to become more sustainable in their operations. Standard ways of doing business no longer are enough. Organizations must make intentional changes in their philosophy and values, products, processes, or practices, in order to create and realize social and environmental value in addition to economic returns. To do so, they must innovate. These innovations can range from changes in operational efficiencies to transformational shifts. This entry defines innovation, especially sustainability-oriented innovations, and discusses how such innovations emerge and spread. Communication is key to any innovation process. Communication is discussed in terms of environmental scanning and information acquisition which occurs as part of the complex adaptive system model,...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Adams, R., Jeanrenaud, S., Bessant, J., Denyer, D., & Overy, P. (2016). Sustainability-oriented innovation: A systematic review: Sustainability-oriented innovation. International Journal of Management Reviews, 18(2), 180–205.  https://doi.org/10.1111/ijmr.12068.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allen, M. (2016). Strategic communication for sustainable organizations: Theory and practice. Cham: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baregheh, A., Rowley, J., & Sambrook, S. (2009). Towards a multidisciplinary definition of innovation. Management Decision, 47(8), 1323–1339.  https://doi.org/10.1108/00251740910984578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bass, B. M. (1985). Leadership and performance beyond expectations. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  5. Crossan, M., & Apaydin, M. (2010). A multi-dimensional framework of organizational innovation: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Management Studies, 47(6), 1154–1191.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6486.2009.00880.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Damanpour, F., & Schneider, M. (2006). Phases of the adoption of innovation in organizations: Effects of environment, organization and top managers. British Journal of Management, 17(3), 215–236.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8551.2006.00498.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dess, G. G., & Picken, J. C. (2000). Changing roles: Leadership in the 21st century. Organizational Dynamics, 28, 18–34.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0090-2616(00)88447-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Geradts, T. H. J., & Bocken, N. M. P. (2019). Driving sustainability-oriented innovation. MIT Sloan Management Review, 60(2), 1.Google Scholar
  9. Nair, A., Yan, T., Ro, Y. K., Oke, A., Chiles, T. H., & Lee, S. (2016). How environmental innovations emerge and proliferate in supply networks: A complex adaptive systems perspective. Journal of Supply Chain Management, 52(2), 66–86.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jscm.12102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Reed, K. E. (2002). Everyone takes the field: How 3M encourages employee involvement in promoting sustainable development. Corporate Environmental Strategy, 9, 383–389.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S1066-7938(02)00109-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  12. Senge, P. M. (1990). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  13. Smerecnik, K., & Andersen, P. (2011). The diffusion of environmental sustainability innovations in North American hotels and ski resorts. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 19(2), 171–196.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2010.517316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Smircich, L., & Morgan, G. (1982). Leadership: The management of meaning. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 18, 257–273.  https://doi.org/10.1177/002188638201800303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Varadarajan, R. (2017). Innovating for sustainability: A framework for sustainable innovations and a model of sustainable innovations orientation. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 45(1), 14–36.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11747-015-0461-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CommunicationUniversity of ArkansasFayettevilleUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Arto O. Salonen
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Social Sciences and Business StudiesUniversity of Eastern FinlandKuopioFinland