Organising Sustainability Competencies through Quality Management: Integration or Specialisation

Vanajah Siva, Ida Gremyr, Arni Halldorsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


A significant step in integrating environmental sustainability into daily operations is through product development. One way to achieve such integration of environmental considerations into product development is by relating sustainability competencies to practices of Quality Management. However, practices seem to vary for how competencies within environmental sustainability are organised in order to make sustainability more actionable. This study explores two ways of organising sustainability competencies in product development: integration and specialisation. The organisation of sustainability competency is illustrated through two cases; one case in which sustainability is integrated with the quality management competency, and the other in which a new competency focusing on sustainability has been added as a separate function in product development. It is suggested that the organisation of sustainability competency influences the extent of environmental impact. Further, trade-offs, such as material source versus weight may not be exploited when sustainability is integrated as one area of responsibility for another specialty competency, suggesting a lack of sufficient competency within environmental sustainability to recognise potential trade-offs between—for example—quality and environmental impact
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalSustainability
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 25.04.2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • sustainability competencies
  • sustainable product development
  • quality management
  • organising
  • integration
  • specialisation


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