In addition to supporting students in research projects undertaken as part of an educational programme, CSEM initiates and conducts research in the field of Environmental and Sustainable Management to support both its teaching and consultancy.
Environmental management and Sustainable Development (SD) research projects by CSEM staff have included:
- Collaborative research* on the management implications of published environmental policies.
- Conflict and convergence between business strategy and environmental strategy in leading UK companies.
- Strategic policy and management approach to environmental management for a government department
- Collaborative research on why a leading automotive company had apparently taken an excessively long time to develop a fully integrated environmental and SD strategy and operational framework.
- The nature of what needs to be learned by business managers to cope with the SD agenda in the second decade of the twenty-first century
This is one of CSEM's preferred research methods, which gives "added value" to some of our findings. The approach, pioneered by Professor Elliot Jaques at the Brunel Institute of Organisation & Social Studies, is particularly useful for investigating problems in business and public service organisations. It enables real life issues to be researched in a way which both produces practically applicable answers for the organisation and enables socially useful knowledge to be built up and tested by the research team. It can often provide more valid and realistic information than arms-length survey methods drawing on the views of uncommitted informants.
In such a project, the collaborating organisation and the research team jointly agree objectives, steps and methods, share and check jointly at each stage, and jointly agree conclusions. The research team does not make recommendations unless asked, as the organisation is in a position to decide how best to use the knowledge gained in order to achieve organisational goals.
As in Product R&D, management research may lead on to a development phase, to design new applications of the knowledge gained.
At present, in line with its over-all focus on ecological sustainability, CSEM Research is focused on the development of sustainable business.
The major vehicle for this is the Sustainable Company Programme, initiated in conjunction with the Sustainable Development Network of AMED (Association for Management Education & Development) . The Programme aims to research, develop and test a feasible path to environmental sustainability for the individual organisation.