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Title: Sustainable resilient strategic decision support for commercial companies
Author: Winnard, Julie
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 8909
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2016
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Companies which integrate sustainability into their strategies outperform competitors both financially and in the stock-market. Advice on how to create sustainable strategy is not explicit, so organisations must either find their own way or struggle to do this. Sustainable firms also need resilient strategies in shifting business conditions, yet guidance for combining resilience with sustainability is almost non-existent. Strategy furthermore involves a choice between options which require allocation of scarce organisational resources, and so firms need an approach to allow them to not only identify their risks and opportunities, but also to find the most robust method to manage these. These choices are becoming more critical for Ford Motor Company, as the automotive sector undergoes rapid technological and social change. This research developed an approach (named Sustainable Resilient Strategic Decision-Support: SuReSDS™) to allow those analysing strategy to capture different types of sustainable value affected by their choices, and investigate how to optimise each strategy’s resilience against different possible future scenarios. By comparing the results a contextually “best” option can be found. This process was developed using desk-top and action-research case studies, at Ford and an SME, Butyl Products. The use of SuReSDS™ allowed users to integrate environmental and social sustainability into strategy by considering significant risks or opportunities for a wider group of stakeholders than previously. It also assisted them to identify and manage risks from different kinds of uncertainty. This provided participants with insights which were incorporated into real-world strategy decisions. The approach is modular and generic, so that it is suitable for different organisation types conducting business-model, product-service or technology-level analysis, and can cope with varying levels of precision, from qualitative concepts to quantitative data. The approach cannot replace knowledge-transfer on sustainability issues or resilience-building skills altogether, but enables companies to utilise in-house or external experts more effectively.
Supervisor: Adcroft, Andy ; Lee, Jacquetta ; Skipp, David Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council ; Ford Motor Company Ltd
Qualification Name: Thesis (Eng.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available