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A Case Study of How DuPont Reduced Its Environment Footprint: The Role of Organizational Change in Sustainability Open Access

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This dissertation examines the actions, decisions, interactions, and operations undertaken by DuPont from 1989 to 2008 that enabled it to transform into a sustainable organization. Specifically, this dissertation examines the role of organizational change in sustainability exhibited by DuPont during its change process. The researcher in this single case study uses novel theoretical lenses in order to gain insight into the role of organizational change in sustainability, including sustainability theory, organizational change theory, and organizational diagnosis theory. From 1990 to 2008, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 72% and changed its product composition from 100% chemical based to 70% chemical based (and 30% biological matter based).Two major findings of this research study were determining some of the conditions in which business strategy and sustainability support one another and the criticality of social responsibility. Once DuPont was able to embed sustainability into its business strategy, sustainability became an integrated part of its operations, products, and services. The data from this study support the conclusion that environmental footprint reduction supports social responsibility. Thus, when designing a strategy for organizational change for sustainability, one needs to first consider the needs of the people affected (e.g., customers, employees, and other stakeholder) and second the inherent role of, and impact on, the environment.

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