Product innovation and environmental and financial sustainability

How can senior managers in heavy manufacturing companies drive innovation to achieve sustainability and cost reduction goals?

Researchers in the La Trobe Business School are examining how senior managers in heavy manufacturing companies can drive innovation to achieve sustainability and cost reduction goals.

“With increasing environmental degradation, senior managers of heavy manufacturing companies are facing immense pressure to accommodate their environmental responsibilities and operate more cost-effectively,” explains Dr Vida Siahtiri, Professor of Service Management.

Some argue that innovation is the key to achieving sustainability, while others believe that innovation is resource consuming. This has created uncertainty about how to achieve sustainability and cost-reduction goals through innovation.

“To date, there is little understanding of whether investing in both radical and incremental innovation is required to achieve environmental sustainability and cost reduction goals in heavy manufacturing companies,” says Dr Siahtiri.

“Previous research has not addressed the role of senior and middle-level managers in promoting environmental sustainability.”

Dr Siahtiri and colleagues have previously investigated the role of senior managers in driving both innovation and environmental sustainability initiatives within organisations.

“Our research sheds light on the significant influence that senior leaders can exert in shaping an organisation's trajectory towards innovation and environmental responsibility,” says Dr Siahtiri.

“Leaders’ attitudes, and their leadership styles can unlock the benefits of radical and incremental innovation in promoting their company’s environmental sustainability. Our research offers valuable insights for organisations wanting to navigate the complex landscape of environmental sustainability and innovation.”