The role of place in shaping responsibility logics: Revisiting the relation between place and business sustainability

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Place has been suggested to play a role for the sustainability orientation in business. A research gap exists in zooming in further on this relationship and in analysing how the organizational sense of place influences such an orientation. Applying the conceptual lens of institutional logics, we operationalize sustainability orientation as hybrid responsibility logic and analyse the role of place in the forming of such a logic. We present the results of a case study of businesses from a local sustainability network in the German city of Wuppertal and surroundings. Based on qualitative interview data, we found place to function as a coping mechanism in dealing with conflicting logics in the context of sustainability challenges. Across four heuristic types, we describe different roles of place in shaping responsibility logics: from providing the scenery for philanthropic engagement to being the nucleus for transformational efforts.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)3106-3118
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 09.2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This research was conducted in the context of the 5‐year junior research project “UrbanUp” funded by the German Federal Ministry of Research. Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Business Strategy and The Environment published by ERP Environment and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

    Research areas

  • business sustainability, institutional logics, learning, sense of place, transformation, typology
  • Sustainability Science