The integration of social responsibility and sustainability in practice: Exploring attitudes and practices in Higher Education Institutions
The demands placed on Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to deliver sustainability initiatives alongside their long-standing social responsibility commitments has been recognised in literature. However, how these interrelate in practice continues to be relatively unexplored. The extant literature suggests that the integration of the two connected agendas can be problematic due to a range of factors, including a general lack of awareness or even misconceptions of the respective agendas. This paper explores the attitudes and practices related to the integration of social responsibility and sustainability initiatives at HEIs. Theoretically, this study highlights the ongoing relative positioning and importance of economic factors – as it relates to differentiation rather than integration – over others such as social responsibility and sustainability. The main implication of this study is that provide useful insights into how HEIs can closer integrate two contemporary but potentially competing agendas.