|dc.description.abstract||As organisations embark on the 21st century it is apparent that there is an ever-increasing
need to learn from the events of the recent and distant past in conjunction with the ability
to take stock, in real time, of the evermore rapidly transforming present and impending
futures. The ability to rethink, reshape, innovate and reconfigure organisational
structures, actions, roles and mindsets in manners which embrace agility and flexibility
has become central to managing emergent ambiguous and complex contexts and the
creation of sustainable organisations and stakeholders in societies (Porritt, 2007, p.33;
Docherty et al., 2009, p.3; Crane and Ruebottom, 2011; Mäkinen and Kourula, 2012; Han
et al., 2012). Moreover, it is now widely accepted that, within these emergent turbulent and
challenging ambidextrous environments, issues of trust and ethics within relationships are
intrinsically intertwined (Lavie et al., 2010; Birkinshaw and Gupta, 2013, Shaw, 2014;
Mathews and Stokes, 2013). All of the above actions and processes need to be
accomplished while maintaining and developing positive relations with stakeholders
across a range of social, cultural and geo-political boundaries. This special issue
addresses this contemporary complex and dynamic amalgam of issues that confront
organisations by drawing together a collection of papers that analyse them from a range
The special issue opens with a paper that focuses upon the development of
sustainable client relationships in the centrally important banking industry. Finken et al.
explore client migration in the context of unplanned acquisitions amongst private banks
located in German-speaking countries during the financial crisis of 2009. The paper
emphasises the need for banks to develop a clear understanding of client perceptions in
order to establish long term sustainable relationships and concludes by presenting a new
model of private banking consumer perception. The special issue progresses by exploring the challenging issue of social responsibility and sustainability and the relationship of these factors to investment.
Negulescu and Doval investigate the issue in the context of Romanian companies and develop a practitioner focused matrix that is designed to aid managers as they develop
investment strategies in these areas. The following paper, by Alenina et al., adopts a case study approach to consider sustainable innovation in high-tech Russian pharmaceutical enterprises. In particular, it explores the challenges and issues associated with the maintenance and development of innovative capacity. The authors formulate a number of recommendations relating to the retention and development of employees, the allocation of resources, the development of infrastructure and the need for government intervention to regulate the industry.
The remaining two papers focus on the special issue theme through the lens
of small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The paper by Sánchez-Hernández and
Gallardo-Vázquez explores the role of social responsibility in developing the
competitiveness of Spanish SMEs. The work emphasises the importance of owners and
managers adopting a holistic approach to the promotion, adoption and implementation of
social responsibility principles in order to enhance competitiveness.
The final paper in the special issue investigates the role of SME learning and
knowledge transfer in creating sustainable business in the English professional football
industry. Moore et al. consider how football clubs responded to the event management
challenges and issues that emerged in the wake of a number of stadium crises and
tragedies that occurred in the 20th century. The authors conclude that clubs have learned
from past events and that they have begun to collaborate to share knowledge and
experience in order to create a sustainable.
In summary, the special issue produces a timely and interesting compilation of studies
on business and organisational contexts (spanning multinational to SME), sector foci
(including banking, sport, pharmaceutical and investment) and European geographical
market perspectives (Germany, Russia, Spain, Romania and the UK). Grounded on in-depth analyses, the papers develop solutions and ways forward to the fundamental
changes occurring in the contemporary global business environment and make an
important contribution to the ongoing debate and exploration of modern business and
Birkinshaw, J. and Gupta, K. (2013) ‘Clarifying the distinctive contribution of ambidexterity
to the field of organization studies’, Academy of Management Perspectives, Vol. 27, No. 4,
Crane, A. and Ruebottom, T. (2011) ‘Stakeholder theory and social identity: rethinking stakeholder identification’, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 102, pp.77–87.
Docherty, P., Kira, M. and Shani, A.B. (2009) ‘What the world needs now is sustainable work systems’, Creating Sustainable Work Systems. Developing Social Sustainability, pp.1–21.
Han, T-W., Kim, G-S. and Lim, D. (2012) ‘Green growth index and policy feedback’,
in Vazquez-Brust, D.A. and Sarkis, J. (Eds.): Gree-Growth: Managaing the Transition to
Sustainable Capitalism: Learning by Doing in south-East Asia and Europe, Springer, London.
Lavie, D., Stettner, U. and Tushman, M.L. (2010) ‘Exploration and exploitation within and across organizations’, Academy of Management Annals, Vol. 4, pp.109–155.
Mäkinen, J. and Kourula, A. (2012) ‘Pluralism in political corporate social responsibility’, Business Ethics Quarterly, Vol. 22, No. 4, pp.649–678.
Mathews, M. and Stokes, P. (2013) ‘The creation of trust – the interplay of rationality,
institutions and exchange’, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, Vol. 25, Nos. 9–10, pp.845–866.
Porritt, J. (2007) Capitalism: As If the World Matters, Earthscan, London.
Shaw, P. (2014) The Age of Agility, Praesta Partners, London.||en