Cleaner production: organisational learning or business as usual? An example from the domestic appliance industry

Vickers, Ian (2000) Cleaner production: organisational learning or business as usual? An example from the domestic appliance industry. Business Strategy and the Environment, 9 (4). pp. 255-268. ISSN 0964-4733

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/1099-0836(200007/08)9:4<...

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Abstract

It is frequently argued that approaches to minimizing the environmental, health and safety impact of industry (i.e. cleaner production) require that firms engage in a process of participative learning involving all levels of the organizational hierarchy. This paper examines the key concept of organizational learning, particularly in terms of the associated concepts of participation and empowerment, drawing on a study of a large, environmentally pro-active firm and recent critical literature on the experience of work. It is suggested that, although contemporary management philosophy pays lip service to increased workforce participation and empowerment, there are formidable structural and cultural barriers to such change. Initiatives within firms to stimulate learning and continuous improvement around cleaner production can be understood in terms of firstly the relative power of individuals and groups within organizations to define and activate learning agendas and secondly the emphasis given to low cost, low skill and low trust as a route to competitiveness, particularly in a UK business context. Finally, attention is drawn to the weakness of external mechanisms for supporting genuine participation and empowerment within enterprises around health, safety and environmental issues.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:Business > Enterprise & Economic Development
ID Code:3743
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Deposited On:08 Feb 2010 12:39
Last Modified:25 Oct 2013 05:31

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