City Research Online

Growing green: On the moral pluralism of individual and collective ecological embeddedness

Roquebert, C-I. & Gond, J-P. ORCID: 0000-0002-9331-6957 (2024). Growing green: On the moral pluralism of individual and collective ecological embeddedness. Business and Society,


Prior research on sustainability suggests that ambitious sustainability strategies are often turned into “business-as-usual” practices. Although ecological embeddedness—i.e., actors’ physical and cognitive anchoring in their ecological environment—can help maintain sustainability ambitions, its collective dynamics and pluralistic moral foundations remain understudied. We rely on the economies of worth framework and the revelatory case of a biodynamic farm business experiencing sustained commercial growth to explore these blind spots by analyzing how ecological embeddedness was maintained despite this growth. We found that moral threats moved the organization away from its initial sustainability commitment and demonstrated how the farm maintained its ecological embeddedness through three mechanisms that involved multiple moral foundations: nurturing ecological inspiration, networking green projects, and unifying a green ethos. By inducing such mechanisms of moral recombination, our analysis advances sustainability studies by clarifying and bridging individual and collective dynamics of ecological embeddedness while revealing their multiple moral foundations; we also extend economies of worth research by demonstrating the role of ecological materiality in the alignment of organizations with the green world.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been accepted for publication in Business & Society by SAGE. Reuse is restricted to non-commercial and no derivative uses.
Publisher Keywords: corporate sustainability, ecological embeddedness, economies of worth, biodynamic farming, small and medium-sized enterprise
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Departments: Bayes Business School
Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
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