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Consultants as discreet corporate change agents for sustainability: Transforming organizations from the outside‐in

Gond, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-9331-6957, Brès, L. & Mosonyi, S. (2024). Consultants as discreet corporate change agents for sustainability: Transforming organizations from the outside‐in. Business Ethics, the Environment & Responsibility, doi: 10.1111/beer.12649

Abstract

Despite their central role in the construction and development of the market for virtues as well as in the design, implementation, and evaluation of corporate sustainability strategies and governmental sustainability policies, sustainability consultants remain at best “hidden” corporate change agents. In this paper, we bring sustainability consultants back to the fore to account for how these actors discreetly regulate and shape contemporary sustainability transformations from the outside‐in. We do so first by unpacking various roles of consultants as engineers, market builders, power vehicles, boundary workers, issue translators, and soft regulators; then we conceptualize how, through these roles, they contribute to empowering, legitimizing but also potentially supplanting and undermining the activities of corporate change agents operating inside corporations. We finally propose some research orientations for studying further the role of sustainability consultants in corporate transformations toward sustainability.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes. © 2024 The Authors. Business Ethics, the Environment & Responsibility published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Publisher Keywords: consultants, corporate change agents, market-building, sustainability
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Bayes Business School
Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
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