Advancing sustainability through change and innovation: a co-evolutionary perspective

Suzanne Benn, Ellen Baker

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)


    This article addresses the problem of how change and innovation can create a fuller voice for ecological interests in organizations and public policy, raising issues about change mechanisms at the institutional versus organizational level. First, it suggests that the newer, systems-based and inclusive approaches to organizational development practice and theory may overcome shortcomings of earlier approaches to planned change. Second, it argues that co-evolutionary approaches that use complex adaptive systems thinking will more effectively structure such third-generation interventions by focusing on issues at the institutional level. Third, the article examines a dialectical model of institutional change which incorporates activist input and channels conflict into innovative outcomes. Finally, it presents a case example of how a dialectical model combined with a co-evolutionary perspective could foster the institutional change required to facilitate the integration of ecological priorities into the human systems of organizations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)383-397
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Change Management
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • sustainability
    • innovation
    • organizational development
    • co-evolution
    • institutional level change


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