Environmental, health, safety, and sustainability (EHS/S) professionals can find literally tens of thousands of articles and hundreds of books on the technical, regulatory, and management system dimensions of their profession. The problem, however, is that very little has been written on the practical aspects of managing EHS/S organizations and, especially, managing their own careers. The Center for Environmental Innovation is conducting research to close this gap. This column updates an earlier literature search to support the project “Organizations in Transition.” It explores current learnings from published literature on recurring themes that influence corporate decision making.
This, the first article in this series, focuses on the intrinsic organizational traits that contribute to the perception, readiness, and ability of organizations to implement successful EHS/S practices. The second article in this series will focus on the impacts of emerging risks, competitive advantage, outsourcing and international collaborations, and innovative alliances on EHS/S management. Together, the two annotated bibliographies will provide EHS/S managers with an up-to-date summary addressing both the role inherent, and often inherited, organizational structure can be expected to play in EHS/S policy and the ways in which their organizations may elect to pursue new opportunities.