How Sustainability-Related Challenges Can Fuel Conflict Between Organizations and External Stakeholders: A Social Psychological Perspective to Master Value Differences, Time Horizons, and Resource Allocations

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Discusses how sustainability-related challenges can fuel conflict between organizations and external stakeholders. It is proposed that (1) specific characteristics of sustainability issues can dramatically complicate conflict resolution between organizations and their stakeholders and (2) that social psychology has several leverage points to offer to master sustainability-related challenges and to alleviate intergroup conflicts. The conflict-exacerbating characteristics explored in this paper on basis of a real-world business case include: (1) value and identity differences, (2) proximal, distal, and divergent time horizons, and (3) bilateral allocation of resources. From these challenges, leverage points for possible interventions in sustainability-related intergroup conflicts are derived. On the theoretical level, the focus is on the Common Ingroup Identity Model, on the Construal Level Theory, and on Framing approaches that are applied to sustainability-related conflicts. Theory-based interventions that aim to mitigate sustainability-related conflicts, the applicability of these interventions for practitioners, as well as avenues of future research are discussed.
Translated title of the contributionWie nachhaltigkeitsbezogene Herausforderungen Konflikte zwischen Organisationen und externen Stakeholdern erschweren können: Eine sozialpsychologische Perspektive zum Meistern von Wertunterschieden, Zeithorizonten und Ressourcenallokationen
Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)53-70
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2019