Rationality, experiences or identity work? Sensemaking of emotionally tense experiences of organizational sustainability


We studied the employees’ emotions towards the sustainability work of their employer. We interviewed 25 employees in a company that has a strong history of sustainability work but receives often criticism from the external stakeholders.

We noticed that the employees use three strategies to cope in the emotionally tense situations. First, the employees use facts and figures to argue against the criticism. Second, they relay on the internal sustainability narrative. Third, they use the identity work to describe themselves as light-green experts. The link to the CICAT2025 project is that the employees and their pride of their employer can be seen as a success factor of sustainability and circular economy.

Authors: Bhavesh Sarna, Tiina Onkila & Marileena Mäkelä, Jyväskylän yliopisto

Published: Social Responsibility Journal

Potential beneficiaries of the results: Companies of all sizes

More information:

Marileena Mäkelä