Leveraging Organisational Values for Sustainability Initiatives

by Marcus Barber


This author assesses the Spiral Dynamics framework (Value Systems Theory in broad terms) in the context of the theme of sustainability and what it might mean for organisations, regardless of whether they operate within the framework of sustainability. The author provides an overview of Value Systems and how differing Values can be used to generate a variety of organisational responses for Sustainability initiatives as well as assessing whether ‘top down’ or ‘bottom up’ approaches are more suitable. The paper suggests that the current future is one that highlights clashes between two core dynamics – ‘Life’ versus ‘Lifestyle’, the rights of one person to live versus another’s desire for lifestyle improvements. Further the idea of addressing sustainability within organisations particularly those in industrialised countries, will likely need a significant shift in preparation for a greatly changed future and the Value Systems theory is one way to map an effective path forward.

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