Reconciling sustainable development and industrial competitiveness : public and private sector perspectives
The thesis investigates potential to reconcile sustainable development and industrial competitiveness in the public and private sectors in Scotland, presenting recommendations that will facilitate any such reconciliation, making business activity more sustainable. The thesis introduces and explores the concept of sustainable competitiveness and determines whether it has the potential to encapsulate the reconciliation of sustainable development and industrial competitiveness. A literature review of sustainable development, competitiveness and good practice examples of their reconciliation is used to present a definition of sustainable competitiveness and set the framework for data gathering. Interviews with practitioners working on sustainable development with business and industry in the public and private sectors in Scotland offer a practical insight into current good practice. Good practice is chosen as the basis for the interviews to demonstrate what is possible and explore approaches that can create more sustainable outcomes. The interviews were conducted between 1999 and 2001. Analysis of the interviews revealed certain themes in relation to understanding and practice. The interviews are analysed using these themes to structure the findings. Approaches by public and private sectors are compared to understand the relative roles that each sector is undertaking and whether or not those activities aim to deliver sustainable development, reconcile sustainable development and competitiveness or simply rebrand existing activity. In analysing implementation of good practice, it is important to understand what drives and supports that process. Thesis findings concentrate on what these drivers and supports are and their implementation. A sustainable development/competitiveness matrix draws this information together both in a theoretical matrix and in one based on practice in Scotland. Finally recommendations are presented that summarise how effective drivers and supports for sustainable competitiveness can be implemented in Scotland.