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Mark DesjardineMark DesJardine
Western University

The Value of Social and Environmental Practices and Resilience During the Global Financial Crisis

The original meaning of sustainability draws on notions of resilience, which exhibits the properties of dynamic capabilities, through social and environmental practices such as stakeholder engagement and environmental management. In other words, social and environmental practices help firms adapt to their external environment which helps them survive shocks. We test this relationship by exploring the relative impact of the 2008 global financial crisis. Drawing from a sample of 502 Canadian- and American-based firms, we hypothesized that the magnitude of the shock and the time to recovery was lower for firms that employed social and environmental practices than those that did not. We find good support for our findings. This research widens the discussion of sustainability to include a more complete view of performance than the short-term perspectives that discord with the foundations of sustainability.


Mark DesJardine is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in General Management at the Ivey Business School at Western University where his research focuses on redeveloping the ways that society approaches business sustainability. Unsettled with the current state of sustainability research and practice, Mark applies an interdisciplinary approach to integrate influential theory from the study of ecology to help managers better understand complexity in organizations. By doing this he intends to ground sustainability in a systems-based approach which, he argues, it has stepped away from since heavily popularized by the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987. Mark obtained a BBA with Honours from Acadia University and worked in Investor Relations prior to academia.

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