The research program Organizing Social Sustainability researches standards and processes of organized fairness and inclusion within the frame of the sustainability paradigm. Our members are dedicated to researching phenomena relating to how social well-being can be fostered in and by organizations. This endeavor requires empirical and theoretical work regarding (inter alia):
- those variables and phenomena that contribute to and constitute social inequalities, communication problems, power asymmetries,
- how these phenomena translate into work and organizations
- how such challenges can be overcome or mitigated in organizations striving for fair and good conditions for human interaction.
The notion organization, here, comprises private companies, public organizations, but also larger organized constructs such as nation states, the EU or “Europe” as a territorial organization, as well as virtual communities (networks, social media). The notion organizing means collective processes of institutionalizing practices and traditions.
Social sustainability means offering processes for creating successful places that promote wellbeing, by understanding what people need from the places they live and work at. Social sustainability supports social and cultural life, social amenities, opportunities for citizen and employee engagement, equal chances, and space for people and places to evolve as to their belonging and identity. Social sustainability can be reached by aligning formal and informal processes; systems; structures; and relationships have to allow both current and future generations to create a healthy and durable living. Socially sustainable communities are equitable, diverse, connected and democratic and provide a good quality of life. We are interested in how organizations of all types can contribute to – or may hinder - a culture of social sustainability. This pertains, e.g., to organized state law, institutionalized structures, and intangible traditions. Of interest are also private companies, e.g., those that take an increased interest in activism, agile and low-hierarchy, digitalized workflows, bias coaching and change management.