Selected articles on the practical aspects of managing EHS/S organizations
Env ironmental , 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 professions. The problem, however, is that very little has been written on the practical aspects of managing EHS/S organizations and, especially, on managing their own careers. The Center for Environmental Innovation is conducting research to close this gap. (For a summary of this project, go to the Center for Environmental Innovation’s website.1)
This paper, the second in a two-part series, updates an earlier literature search to support the project “Organizations in Transition.” The series’ objective is to explore current learnings from published literature on recurring themes that influence corporate decision making in the EHS/S arena.
The first part, published in the Summer 2013 issue of Environmental Quality Management, focused on internal organizational characteristics that contribute to the perception, readiness, and ability of organizations to implement successful EHS/S practices. The studies highlighted in this first section were selected to provide EHS/S practitioners with a survey of recent scholarship on the role of different organizational cultures, structures, and stakeholder engagement strategies in affecting not only environmental performance but also the triple bottom line.
Part 1 also included an introduction describing the overall problem facing students starting their careers and the difficulties already faced by practitioners: Essentially all of the published EHS/S material is written with the underlying assumption that readers armed with this information will be able to navigate their way through the obstacles encountered in their work environments. Instead, practitioners soon find that the difficult issues consuming their energy are not technical or regulatory, but, among numerous obstacles, frozen budgets and dysfunctional organizations.