MSM collaborating for sustainable development


This summer Jakomijn van Wijk, Associate Professor in Sustainable Business at MSM presented a co-authored paper at the annual European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) Colloquium in Edinburgh, UK. EGOS is a leading membership association of scholars who study different types of organizations and the contexts in which they operate. The theme of this year was “Enlightening the Future: The Challenge for Organizations.”

Paper on cross-sector partnerships to green the fashion industry
Jakomijn presented an empirical paper, written together with Lori Divito and Ingrid Wakkee from Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, that studies how companies, knowledge institutes and nongovernmental organizations collaborate in a cross-sector partnership to green the fashion industry. While literature has shown that collaboration between companies that also compete in the market may involve collaboration challenges, the paper highlights several governance mechanisms to mitigate such tensions and how these mechanisms are necessary to create social value.

Negative environmental impacts of fashion
The paper was part of the “Institutions, Innovation, Impact” session which included presentations on how organizations and individuals like companies, nongovernmental organizations and institutional investors address complex social challenges like biodiversity loss, climate change and persistent poverty. Such grand challenges are also prevalent in the global apparel industry, which is considered one of the most polluting industries in the world. Water and pesticide use in the production of cotton, environmental pollution from dyeing and finishing fabrics and micro-plastics that end up in our oceans after washing synthetic clothes are some of the pressing issues in this industry. To call attention to these negative environmental impacts of fashion and to force firms to take action, social movement organizations like Greenpeace run campaigns to “detox fashion”. In response to these pressures, apparel companies increasingly engage in multi-stakeholder networks since solving these complex problems requires collective action.

Sustainable development at MSM
Studying how multi-stakeholder networks address complex problems aligns with MSM’s long tradition of teaching and research activities in the fields of sustainable development and Corporate Social Responsibility. For instance, in MSM’s executive education program Value Chain Analysis,  the role of lead firms like fashion brands in upgrading global value chains is examined, while in MSM’s executive education program Corporate Social Responsibility, the questions how social movement organizations challenge industries to transition towards sustainability and how this interplay between activists and companies may unfold are explored.

MSM’s faculty and adjunct faculty have published several scientific papers on such sustainability topics. Please find some examples of recent publications below:

  • de Boer, D., & van Dijk, M. (2016). Success factors for community business wildlife tourism partnerships in Tanzania. European Journal of Development Research, 28(4), 1-16. DOI 10.1057/ejdr.2015.23
  • Fifka, M. (2018). CSR as a strategic management instrument in the textile industry. In P. Heinrich (Ed.), CSR and Fashion (pp. 13-26). Berlin, Germany: Springer-Gabler.
  • Schouten, G., Vellema, S., & van Wijk, J. (2016). The diffusion of global multi-stakeholder sustainability standards: An assessment of the institutional fit of the ASC-shrimp standard in Indonesia, RAE: Revista de Administração de Empresas, 56(4), 411-423. 
  • Stanisic-Quaedvlieg, M., & Nedeljković, J. (2019). Regulatory framework of forestry for climate change mitigation and adaption. In W. Leal Filho, U. Azeiteiro, A. Azul, L. Brandli, P. Özuyar, T. Wall (Eds.), Climate Action. Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
  • Van Wijk, J., Zietsma, C., Dorado, S., De Bakker, F.G.A. & Martí, I. (2018). Social innovation: Integrating micro, meso and macro level insights from institutional theory, Business & Society, 58(5), 887–918. DOI 10.1177/0007650318789104
  • Zhang, M., Liu, Z., Jin, W., & van Dijk, M. P. (2018). Emission trading schemes in China and the European Union: Achievements and challenges, Low Carbon Economy, 9(1), 33-44.  DOI 10.4236/lce.2018.91003. 

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