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Journal of Cleaner Production 14 (2006) 787e796 www.elsevier.


Incorporation and institutionalization of SD into universities: breaking through barriers to change
Rodrigo Lozano*
B.R.A.S.S. Centre, Cardiff University, 55 Park Place, Cardiff, Wales CF10 3AT, United Kingdom Received 1 August 2005; accepted 26 December 2005 Available online 3 March 2006

Abstract Many years have passed since sustainable development (SD) became world famous in the Brundtland Commission publication, ‘‘Our Common Future’’; however, still many universities are unaware of it or confuse it with environmental sustainability. The SD concept contrasts with existing teaching methods, mainly focused into resource depletion. This paper focuses on SD incorporation and institutionalization into universities. This process is bound to face resistance from inside and outside stakeholders. Several approaches and strategies are presented to overcome this resistance. The paper also presents the types of conflicts that might arise and the role of the campus SD champion in preventing or solving them. Ó 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Universities; Sustainable development; Barriers to change; University system; University stakeholders

1. Introduction Subsequent to its publication in ‘‘Our Common Future’’ [1] in 1987, the concept of sustainable development (SD) became world famous. SD and its principles have been adopted by some higher education institutions, amongst them Monterrey Tec (Mexico), Delft University of Technology (Netherlands), the University of Michigan (USA), and Dartmouth College (USA); regretfully, on a worldwide basis, a large percentage of university leaders and faculty members are unaware of SD and its principles or if they are aware of them, they have done little or nothing to incorporate them into their courses, curricula, research and outreach. From this the following questions that university leaders should ask themselves arise: (1) How to effectively and efficiently incorporate SD into the university’s policies, education, research, outreach, and campus operations? (2) How to ensure that SD becomes an integral part of the university

* Tel.: þ44 29 20 876562; mobile: þ44 7981900984; fax: þ44 29 20 876061. E-mail address: lozanorosr@cardiff.ac.uk URL: http://www.brass.cardiff.ac.uk 0959-6526/$ - see front matter Ó 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2005.12.010

culture and creates a multiplier effect within the institution and in society, in the short- and long-term? This document seeks to address these two questions and analyses the causes why SD has not really been incorporated and implemented throughout most universities of the world, and among the different stakeholders of each university. It also addresses ways to overcome the resistance and barriers to incorporation of SD throughout the entire academic system. Since its appearance in 1987 there have been many definitions and interpretations of SD; some believe it to be a catch phrase, a fad or fashion, while others confuse it with solely environmental aspects. However, this author disagrees with such positions since the three SD key aspects, economic, environmental and social are part of everyday life. Thus SD, in this paper, is understood to be: ‘‘. a change process, in which the societies improve their quality of life, reaching dynamic equilibrium between the economic and social aspects, while protecting, caring for and improving the natural environment. This integration and equilibrium among these three aspects must be taught and transferred from this generation to the next and the next’’ [2]. After clarifying the meaning of SD, it is necessary to review the university system and its stakeholders before addressing


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the incorporation of SD. The following section addresses these issues. 2. The university system: dimensions and stakeholders The future leaders, decision-makers and intellectuals of the social, political, economic and academic sectors are created, formed and shaped within the world’s higher education institutions. Even though each university is unique, all of them have the same basic system. This system, according to Cortese [3], has four dimensions: (a) Education (referring to courses and curricula), (b) Research, both basic and applied, (c) Campus operations, and (d) Community outreach. These dimensions must also be assessed and reported on in an on-going manner which leads to a fifth dimension: (e) Assessment and reporting [2]. It should be noted that these dimensions are interdependent. This author considers the main actors in universities to be as follows: (a) the academic directors, (b) the professors and (c) the students. Ideally the concepts of SD should be integrated into the policies, approaches and learning of all members of these stakeholders; in practice this is almost impossible in the first stages of SD incorporation into the university’s system. 3. SD as an innovation in universities Even though universities should be institutions that foster change, traditions usually play an important role; this, together with the interactions of thousands of individuals on campuses present a challenge, where positive and negative reactions are bound to arise for incorporation of SD into all facets of the university’s system, structure and activities [2,4]. As stated earlier, SD is still a relatively new, innovative idea in most universities; the process of incorporation and diffusion of SD within them can be explained with the help of innovation theory. Rogers [5] considers an innovation to be anything that is new to a person, which can also be extrapolated to institutions. Innovations are usually divided into three categories: (a) product, (b) process and (c) idea. The incorporation of SD into universities falls into the idea category, this even though it usually carries with it new products, processes, policies and values. Afuah [6] complements Rogers’ [5] categorization by indicating that innovations can be incremental or radical. The former when the idea builds upon existing knowledge; while the latter is when the idea is fundamentally different from existing knowledge. The case of SD in universities falls into the radical category, the reason of this is that existing universities’ teaching methods are mainly focused at societal depletion of the natural and human resources; this connected with the fact that the areas of knowledge are highly specialized, for example in-depth 3 to 5 years of studies on topics such as economics, law, engineering, medicine, ecology, history, philosophy, amongst others, therefore, the graduating students having much knowledge in their field have little awareness of the

consequences their actions may have in other fields, such as society and nature, in both the short- and long-term future. Changes towards a more integrated system of knowledge development have been proposed by authors such as Roorda [7] who indicates that the university system should change from the current highly specialized focus to integrated multidisciplinary approaches and then onto interdisciplinary. He emphasizes that the last stage includes trans-disciplinary approaches (see Box 1 for clarification of these phases). In addition to the adopter categories, Rogers [5] proposes the following five stage process for the adoption of an innovation: Each approach offers the administrators, faculty and students a progressively more holistic view of the world, helping them to understand that their decisions whether economic or political have repercussions upon society and nature. This holistic approach is in accordance with SD. Making such changes in a university is not an easy task. As with any other new idea the incorporation of SD is bound to face resistance from at least some of its stakeholders. This resistance can be explained by the fact that normally individuals are happy with the status quo and are not willing to change their attitudes and routines. Rogers [5] remarks that individuals can be divided into the following five categories (refer to Fig. 1): 1. Innovators, comprising 2.5%, those who are willing to try new ideas, risk their capital and time, and cope with high degrees of uncertainty. Innovators are venturesome and play the role of gatekeepers in the flow of new ideas into a system. 2. Early adopters, comprising 13.5%, have the greatest degree of opinion in most systems. They are looked upon by potential adopters, serving as reference individuals. They are speeding agents on the diffusion of the innovation.

Box 1. New approaches for the university system to incorporate SD into all facets of its activities  Multidisciplinary education: ‘‘. [the] cooperation between various disciplines, keeping intact every separate set of theoretical concepts and methodology.’’  Interdisciplinary education: ‘‘. [the] cooperation between various disciplines, where a common methodological approach and theoretical fundament is looked for, as a synthesis of the participating disciplines. Participants try to speak ‘one language’.’’  Trans-disciplinary education: ‘‘. not only cooperation takes place between specialists of various disciplines, but also others are directly involved: users, problem owners, clients, stakeholders, etc. (trans-disciplinary ¼ (literally:) beyond the disciplines.)’’ [7]

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Fig. 1. Adopter categorization on the basis of innovativeness and relative of adoption of new ideas, concepts, tools or products. Source: Ref. [5].

3. Early majority, comprising 34%, adopt new ideas before the average members. They provide interconnectedness in the system’s interpersonal networks. 4. Late majority, comprising 34%, adopt new ideas after the average member. They might have an economic rational to adopt the idea, approaching it carefully. The pressure of peers is needed to motivate the adoption. 5. Laggards, comprising 16%, are the last to adopt an innovation. They tend to be suspicious about the idea and the change agents. Resistance to the idea is perceived as rational. They have a strong bias to keep the status quo [5]. It should be noted that innovators usually bear the burden of mistakes at the first stages and the problems and disappointments of test-trials, but this is compensated by the satisfaction of being the developers of the idea. The combination of the innovators and early adopters provides an idea of the proportion of individuals who could be active in change for the innovation and can serve as SD multipliers, creating the momentum needed to convince the other adopter categories. The late majority and the laggards have the highest levels of change resistance, but might eventually adopt the innovation. The resistance to change of the individuals creates a system inertia which in many cases makes change difficult. In addition to the adopter categories, Rogers [5] proposes the following five stage process for the adoption of an innovation: 1. Awareness: When the individuals are exposed to the idea. 2. Interest: When the individuals become motivated towards the idea. 3. Evaluation: When the individuals try the idea and judge its future potential. 4. Trial: When the idea is implemented in a ‘‘micro’’ approach. 5. Adoption: When the individuals are satisfied with the results of the idea trial and put the practice into operation. An individual can pass through different stages, e.g. reach the trial stage, but then reject the innovation on the grounds such as the innovation is impractical or with little or no benefit. If this occurs the innovation is not incorporated. For the

incorporation of the innovation to take place, it is necessary that the individual reaches the adoption stage. The five stages can also be used to explain the adoption of innovations within institutions. In respect to SD, some universities can be considered to be in the awareness category, like Lund University (Sweden) [2], while others are at the interest stage, Monterrey Tec (Mexico) [2]. Within the same university it is possible to find different stakeholders at different stages, for example, the innovators might have already adopted SD while the laggards might still be in the early awareness stage. If an innovation, such as SD, is adopted and put into practice long enough and increasingly by different members of the institution until widespread implementation and stabilization, it ceases to be an innovation and becomes part of the institution’s culture [5], thereby becoming institutionalized. The process from innovation to stabilization is explained by Sherry [8], who highlights that an innovation usually has three stages: (a) initiation (or diffusion), (b) implementation, and (c) institutionalization. 4. Towards the institutionalization of SD in universities The institutionalization of an idea, such as SD, refers to the process in which the idea passes from individual efforts and attitudes to changes in the system, in the case of the universities the stakeholders and five dimensions. Institutionalization is achieved when the idea is accepted and incorporated into the system’s culture and its ‘‘day-to-day’’ operations. The institutionalization process proceeds from the individual to the system, Dobes [9] divides it into four steps (presented in Fig. 2): (I) Intuition, (II) Interpretation, (III) Integration and (IV) Institutionalization. In the intuition step, particular skills are created or modified on the individual basis, e.g. the necessary SD information and education is provided to each individual. In the interpretation step the individual internalizes the skills and modifies his/her way of thinking, i.e. the mindsets, values, attitudes, behaviors and thoughts. When more and more individuals acquire the necessary SD skills and work together, they form the organizational skills, thus passing to the integration step. This, in turn, can serve to achieve the last step, institutionalization,

Fig. 2. Mental structures flow, from the individual to the organization. Source: Ref. [9].


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making the innovation become part of the culture of the organization, i.e. getting SD institutionalized into the university. When an innovation is institutionalized it becomes difficult to root out, even with a change of top-management (in the case of the university, with a change of academic directors). In cases where an innovation, such as SD, is still not part of the culture, it is easily possible to force it from the top to the bottom through power-coercive strategies, detailed in subsequent paragraphs. This, however, generates conflicts and the innovation is bound to lose strength with a change of authorities, thereby slowing the institutionalization and sometimes even resulting in the disappearance of the innovation from the organization. Usually, an innovation is institutionalized only after a long period of time. To achieve institutionalization, it is necessary that all the stakeholders receive the proper SD skills and that these are supported by the university’s policies and mission. Universities are a special type of organizations, where every year thousands of individuals start and finish their studies. This requires continuous SD skill formation by the newcomers and reinforcement of those skills and attitudes of current students. Other stakeholders, i.e. academic directors, professors, staff and alumni, amongst others, can help to promote the SD institutionalization process by enforcing it with their attitudes and behaviors until SD permeates through all the stakeholders and their activities, becoming part of the system’s culture. A radical innovation, such as SD, will undoubtedly face resistance when being incorporated and institutionalized. This resistance is affected by the individuals’ barriers to change. The following paragraphs amplify upon this.

The basic needs are also important because, if unmet, they can increase the resistance to change, given by the barriers to change, in any organization, such as a university. The barriers to change can be divided into three levels, proposed by Maurer [11], which are complemented by two aspects, proposed by Lozano-Ros [2]: Level 1. Resistance to the idea itself: This level is generally produced by a lack of information, disagreement with the idea, lack of exposition and confusion. Level 2. Resistance involving deeper issues: This level is usually produced by feelings of loss of control or power, status loss, respect or separation of the individual from the others. It usually causes feelings of incompetence, of feelings of being deserted, of feelings of high levels of pressure and stress, and that change is too difficult, so resistance is strong. Level 3. Deeply embedded resistance: This level makes a serious contrast with the organization; the individual might be in accordance with the idea of change, but nevertheless takes the situation to a personal dimension. This includes factors such as cultural differences, race, religion, sex, amongst others. It is generally produced by: history or lack of trust, differences of sex, race, culture or ethnic background and significant disagreement towards the values being encountered [11]. Of the three levels, the lowest level and the easiest to overcome is Level 1 which can be done by providing clear, necessary and complete information. On the other hand, the highest and the most difficult to overcome is Level 3, since the idea or its incorporation contrasts with personal convictions. It is possible to find two complementing aspects that can appear together with any level and limit the incorporation of SD into the university system: Aspect 1. Procrastination: This refers to the fact that the individual is aware of the innovation but believes that its incorporation is too complicated; therefore, s/he finds ways to delay action upon the new idea. It can also be due to inherent laziness and in some cases due to negligence. Aspect 2. Power: The struggle for power between people with opposing views or the desire for a more public position often consumes precious abilities, energy and time that otherwise could be used positively, as in the case of the implementation of SD. Another effect of the power struggle is the creation of sides or groups that seek to grab the resources and eliminate the competition of other groups [2]. Some of the reasons why barriers to change appear in any level and aspect are offered by Spence [12]: 1. ‘‘to protect social status or prerogative; 2. to protect an existing way of life; 3. to prevent devaluation of capital invested in an existing facility or in a supporting facility or service;

5. Barriers to change while incorporating SD into university systems The barriers to change are influenced by the individual’s basic needs. Maslow [10] identifies five levels in the hierarchy of basic needs: 1. Physiological needs: The most basic level. It generally corresponds to primary needs such as hunger, thirst, sleep and sex. 2. Safety needs: This is equivalent to security need. It is both emotional as well as physical safety. 3. Love needs: This corresponds to the affection and affiliation needs. 4. Esteem needs: It represents the higher needs of humans. The needs for power, achievement and status. It contains both self-esteem and esteem for others. 5. Needs for self-actualization: This is the culmination of the needs. Self-actualization is the person’s motivation to transform perception of self into reality [10]. These levels help one to understand the behavior of individuals and to help us to take the necessary approaches in order to improve the individual’s quality of life, and quality of working life.

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4. to prevent a reduction of livelihood because the innovation would devalue the knowledge or skill presently required; 5. to prevent the elimination of a job or profession; 6. to avoid expenditures such as the cost of replacing existing equipment, and of renovating and modifying systems already in operation to accommodate or to compete with the innovation; 7. because the innovation opposes social customs, fashions and tastes and the habits of everyday life; 8. because the innovation conflicts with existing laws; 9. because of rigidity inherent in large or bureaucratic organizations; 10. because of personality, habit, fear, equilibrium between individuals or institutions, status and similar social and psychological considerations; 11. because of the tendency of organized groups to force conformity; 12. because of the reluctance of an individual or group to disturb the equilibrium of society or the business atmosphere’’ [12]. Some of the reasons that Spence [12] presents are directly connected with Maslow’s hierarchy of basic needs and barriers to change levels and aspects. For example, the protection of social status which is in direct relation with the esteem needs while the prevention of a job loss by the safety needs and the devaluation of knowledge or skills by the needs for self-actualization. Reasons such as the costs of replacing equipment or modifying systems are linked to economic factors. Others refer to political factors, such as the institutional laws and culture. Yet, others refer to the individual and institutional willingness to maintain the status quo. An example of a Level 3 reason can be found in number 7, where the innovation opposes social customs, fashions and tastes and the habits of everyday life. An important point is stated in reason number 8, it conflicts with existing laws. This implies that the institutional policies should incorporate the innovation so as to avoid conflicts. The types of conflicts are addressed in subsequent paragraphs. While some of the foregoing barriers apply to many situations and organizations, the following are especially relevant for universities: ‘‘Conservationism or unwillingness to change; change creates extra work in addition to the ‘‘day-to-day’’ activities; - lack of relevant and complete SD information, and how to incorporate it into the individual activities’’ [2].

be able to reduce or overcome them. The following paragraphs present some approaches and strategies that can be used for these purposes. 6. Overcoming barriers to change It is neither interesting nor constructive to present a problem without offering solutions. In the case of the incorporation of SD in universities, it is clear that a radical innovation will face stiff resistance. Subsequent paragraphs present different approaches and strategies to help overcome the barriers to change. Luthans [13] proposes five approaches to overcome resistance to change: 1. Providing new information: By providing new information, the person will change his or her attitudes towards that innovation. 2. Use of fear: Fear can be used to change people’s attitudes; the degree used is highly important, low levels tend to be ignored while high levels tend to be rejected. 3. Resolving discrepancies: Change can be obtained by solving the discrepancies between attitudes and behaviors. 4. Influence of friends or peers: Persuasion of friends or peers can also accelerate change. 5. Co-opting approach: Change is achieved by involving the people dissatisfied in the process and helping them to realize the benefits of making changes. Each approach offers a different perspective to help solve the barriers to change. Some offer a better solution to a certain level or aspect than others. The approach or approaches that best suit each level or aspect of the barriers to change is explained in the subsequent paragraphs. Depending on the situation, some approaches can be used in conjunction with others. For example, the use of fear and the influence of friends or peers can help to convince individuals in the late majority and laggard categories. The influence of friends or peers could come from the combined pressure of innovators, early adopters and early majority, while the use of fear could come from the top-levels and be backed up by an institutional policy framework. Thus, the individuals will be pressed to change by their colleagues, the authorities and the organization’s rules and laws. Quinn et al. [14] complement Luthans’ [13] approaches with three strategies (detailed in Box 2): (a) Empiricalerational (making logical arguments for change), (b) Power-coercive (using forms of leverage to force change), and (c) Normativere-educative (using participation and pursuing winewin strategies). The five approaches of Luthans [13] and the three strategies of Quinn et al. [14] can be utilized to overcome the barriers to change in the different levels and aspects. For example, Level 1 (Based upon the lack of information) can be overcome by using the ‘‘Providing new information’’ approach, and the ‘‘Empiricalerational strategy’’ which can help the rational individuals make changes by gaining an understanding of the potential benefits of making the change.

As can be observed from the preceding lists, some of the barriers to change arise from unfulfilled basic needs. For example, the protection of social status or prerogative, which relates to esteem needs. While other barriers to change are clearly explained by the levels and aspects, e.g. the lack of relevant SD information as an example of Level 1. The appearance of barriers to change is inevitable. It is important to recognize their existence and their level or aspect to


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Box 2. Strategies to overcome change ‘‘The empiricalerational assumes that people are guided by reason and will calculate whether it is in their best interest to change. It assumes that if people understand the logic for change and see themselves as benefiting from the change, they will be more likely to change. Resistance comes primarily from ignorance and superstition. To counter this resistance, individuals must be educated about the logic and benefits of change. The power-coercive strategy focuses on forcing people to change through the use of external sanctions. This strategy emphasizes political and economic power. The power-coercive change strategy also has limited use in adaptive situations. In adaptive change, people must commit themselves to the collective purpose. The powercoercive strategy usually evokes anger, resistance, and damage to the fundamental relationships of those involved in the change. Thus, it is not likely to result in the kind of voluntary commitment that is necessary in most adaptive solutions. The normative-re-educative strategy involves a more collaborative change progress. Individuals are still guided by a rational calculus; however, this calculus extends beyond self-interest to incorporate the meanings, norms, and institutional policies that contribute to the formation of human culture. Using this strategy, the leader of change welcomes the input of others as equals into the change process. Change does not come by simply providing information, as in the empiricalerational strategy. Rather, it requires the leader to focus on the clarification and reconstruction of values. In this mode, the leader attempts to identify all values and works collectively through conflict. The emphasis is on communication with the followers rather than their manipulation’’ [14].

institutionalization in the university. This is addressed in the following paragraphs. Level 3 (Higher than actual change) is the highest level of the barriers to change. When this level appears the individuals are not willing to cooperate to make changes. This involves the personal dimensions, such as lack of trust and values differences. To help overcome this level the ‘‘Use of fear’’ or ‘‘Influence of peers and friends’’ approaches can be used. The Use of fear approach can help to reduce the fear that the individual feels towards SD, while the influence of peers and friends can serve as a social pressure towards those individuals who are considered to be Laggards (Fig. 1). Any of the three strategies can be used to overcome this level, but this author believes that the Normativere-educative strategy can provide the best results for reducing friction and conflicts by involving the individual. The Powercoercive strategy should be used as a last resort but should be kept in mind in case the other two fail. Aspect 1 (Procrastination) refers to the situation when the individual is lazy or considers the change too difficult, for this the approaches of Co-opting and Influence of peers and friends can be used and the Normative-re-educative strategy. Aspect 2 (Power) is always present in any human being system. None of the approaches or strategies presented can be used to reduce or eliminate it. The power struggle drains resources and energy from individuals and from the system. Table 1 presents, in a condensed form, the strategies and approaches proposed to be used for each of the levels and aspects of resistance to change. The interactions of large numbers of individuals in universities present a challenge for the SD incorporation and institutionalization process. In this process some, or all, of the levels and aspects of the barriers to change are bound to appear. Conflicts will appear even if the individuals’ needs are understood and taken into consideration and the appropriate strategy or approach is used to overcome the barriers to change. The following paragraphs explain the types of conflicts that may appear. 7. Conflicts that may arise while seeking to incorporate SD into university systems ‘‘Conflict between organizations is an inevitable result of functional interdependence and scarcity of resources’’ [15]. This statement highlights why individuals in institutions

To overcome Level 2 barriers (Based upon psychological and emotional reactions towards change) two of the approaches could be used: ‘‘Resolving discrepancies’’ or ‘‘Co-opting approach’’. Both of these approaches can help individuals to better understand the problems and help solve them by active involvement. The strategies that can help solve this level are the ‘‘Power-coercive’’ and ‘‘Normative-re-educative’’. The former is a type of command and control that should be used only as a last resort, since, by nature, it creates friction and dissatisfaction. The Normative-re-educative strategy requires that the participants are provided the opportunity to give their opinions in a collaborative manner, about their involvement in the incorporation of SD in the process of

Table 1 Matrix of the approaches and strategies to overcome barriers to change Change barrier Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Approach Providing new information Resolving discrepancies; co-opting approach Use of fear; influence of peers and friends Co-opting approach; influence of peers and friends Strategy Empiricalerational Normative-re-educative Normative-re-educative; power-coercive Normative-re-educative

Aspect 1

Source: The author.

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protect their resources and ideas, which are frequently incompatible with those of others, thus creating conflicts. There are two types of conflicts that could arise: 1. unnecessary but easily manageable; 2. genuine, inevitable and difficult to avoid [15]. According to Carley and Christie [15] the first type arises due to: 1. Misperceptions or stereotypes, miscommunication or habitual negative behaviors. 2. Data conflicts from lack of information, misinformation, disagreement over data relevance or misinterpretation. 3. Value conflicts from incompatibility belief systems. The second type arises from: 1. Structural conflicts from oppressive patterns of human relationships. 2. Interest conflicts over substantive issues, procedural issues and psychological issues. It is important for the leaders, or SD champions1, to be aware and to understand the barriers to change and conflicts that could arise in order to take the necessary steps to prevent or to solve them. Some of the conflicts can be solved by taking a proactive instead of a reactive approach, this is the duty of the SD champion; the importance of this individual in the incorporation of SD is presented in the following section. 8. SD champion and his/her role The role of the opinion leader, defined by Rogers [5] as ‘‘. individuals who are influential in approving or disapproving new ideas’’, in this case the SD champion, is to be at the forefront and be the link between the innovator and the organization. Opinion leaders belong to the early adopters’ category. The path from the innovation to the organization (or community) is proposed by Spence [12] and shown in Fig. 3. Even though leadership plays a vital role in the SD incorporation and institutionalization in universities, it is the duty of all of the individuals in the organisation to change their attitudes and to work towards SD and make it part of their culture and system. 9. Recommendations This author believes that even though SD is a radical innovation within universities, it is necessary to incorporate it incrementally. Otherwise, the incorporation process will face stiff resistance from individuals and will lead to unnecessary conflicts.
1 An SD champion is an opinion leader that is influential in the approval or disapproval of new ideas.

While incorporating and institutionalizing SD the following points should be considered: 1. ‘‘Small groups of people should begin and, if successful, build up [SD] momentum throughout the entire university. 2. Both pressure and support e i.e. both sticks and carrots e are necessary for success. 3. The relationship between changes in behavior and changes in belief requires careful consideration, support and monitoring. 4. The role of ownership. True ownership is not something that emerges magically at the beginning, but emerges during a successful change process’’ [4]. Taking these statements into consideration, the steps to take to incorporate SD into the university system should be, but are not restricted, to:  Engaging and obtaining top-level support.  Providing the necessary institutional framework for the SD efforts to ensure continuity.  Setting goals, objectives, timetables, and monitoring and reporting of the efforts. There are many reporting tools available, some examples the Auditing Instrument for Sustainable Higher Education (AISHE) by Roorda [7], and the Graphical Assessment of Sustainability in Universities (GASU) by Lozano-Ros (also presented in this special edition of the JCP), some others are presented by Lozano-Ros [2].  Providing the necessary information and skills to all the stakeholders through different media (such as internet, education, etc.), with a special focus on educating the educators. A clear understanding of SD is necessary for the incorporation of the concept.  Detecting, engaging and empowering the individuals who are already convinced with the idea, making them SD champions to help them achieve a multiplier effect throughout the entire organization. An important group that must take part is the students. These steps, even though presented serially, should be done simultaneously and repeatedly. The multiplier effect refers to the identification and empowerment of innovators and early adopters among the individuals that are being educated in SD to create a reference group that can by homophily, i.e. ‘‘. the degree to which two or more individuals who interact are similar in certain attributes .’’ [5], and peer-pressure and influence accelerate the diffusion of SD to the other individuals and categories. The multiplier effect is supported by Elton’s [4] three stages of dissemination, who states that an innovation must pass: 1. ‘‘From the innovator to the converted or readily convertible, usually best through workshops; 2. From the converted, back at base, to the convertible ones in the same discipline in the home institution, as well as in other institutions;


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Fig. 3. The usual sequence of players in the process of the adoption of an innovation in personal or organizational contexts. Source: Adapted from Spence [12].

3. From the converted discipline to other disciplines within each of the institutions’’ [4]. Elton’s [4] proposal, to pass from the innovator to the easily convertible, then to the ones in the same disciplines, reinforced by homophily, and then onto other disciplines, does not correspond with the SD holistic nature, where many disciplines must be involved since the beginning of the incorporation and institutionalization process, thus rendering the application of Elton’s [4] second and third stages as such inadequate. Elton’s [4] proposal can be used within the adopter categories specifying that the dissemination should pass from the innovators to the early adopter and so onto the laggards. Thus the multiplier effect is ensured so as to accelerate the transition towards a more sustainable university by engaging and empowering all of the stakeholders. Once the multiplier effect begins to have an impact, then the following issues proposed by McKeown [16] should be taken into consideration to assure continuity and to foster the institutionalization of SD: 1. ‘‘Increasing awareness; 2. Structuring and placing SD in the curricula; 3. Linking to existing issues: educational reform and economic viability; 4. Facing the complexity of SD concept; 5. Developing an ESD program with community participation; 6. Engaging traditional disciplines in a trans-disciplinary framework; 7. Sharing the responsibility; 8. Building human capacity; 9. Developing material and financial resources; 10. Developing policy; 11. Developing a creative, innovative and risk-taking climate; 12. Promoting sustainability in popular culture’’. It should be noted that McKeown [16] does not clarify whether the issues should be addressed in the presented order or all at the same time. For example, number 10, developing university policies to promote SD should be in one of the first activities, together with top-level engagement and support. Issue number 11, developing a creative, innovative and risk-taking climate, according to her should ensure that the teachers are should be free to experiment and feel that the administrators will support their efforts, always under

a framework where there are no abuses. Under number 12, promoting sustainability in popular culture, McKeown [16] points that SD must be woven into everyday life and governmental policy, creating bottom-up pressure. By following these recommendations, the resistance to change can be reduced, diminishing the barriers to change, even though they still arise since many individuals prefer the status quo. It has been suggested that in order to incorporate SD within universities a top-down approach is the best strategy [17]. This author believes that the best strategy is to foster SD through a combination of top-down and bottom-up approaches at the same time. Certainly, top-level support through university policies, programs, financial and human resource allocation is essential. At the same time, trans-disciplinary involvement of students, faculty, staff and others in the university community, at all levels, is essential to obtain support and gain momentum in the SD incorporation and institutionalization process including all the stakeholders, fomenting the transition towards a trans-disciplinary approach. In summary, the following approaches can be used to facilitate and support the SD incorporation process: Make SD explicit in the universities’ academic policies, institutional mission, strategy and planning. - Appoint an SD coordinator, who acts as a champion, to coordinate the SD institutionalization process. A multistakeholder committee should be established to help the SD champion to plan and coordinate the implementation process. - Involve stakeholders in all the phases of the process of incorporation and ensuring continuity of the SD program, SD demands stakeholder participation; it is also highly advised that all the disciplines contribute their knowledge. - Reduce the fear of change to incorporate SD by providing the necessary information to everybody that addresses the rational of certain individuals, using the empiricalerational strategy, and engaging others using the normative-reeducative strategy. - Incorporate SD into all five academic dimensions (curricula, research, campus operations, community outreach, and assessment and reporting). - Communicate regularly, the goals, objectives, processes, progress and future plans of the SD efforts to all stakeholders within and outside of the academic context.

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Develop and utilize specific strategies to overcome the barriers to change, at all levels. Specifically the levels 2 and 3, since level 1 can be overcome with information. A powerful and useful strategy to achieve this is the normative-educative, where the different individuals are involved in SD projects, thus reducing their resistance to change. - Achieving the multiplier effect can reduce the time of SD adoption; this can be achieved by identifying and encouraging some of the individuals involved in small projects to share their experiences and knowledge. The multiplier effect can also be achieved by educating educators to educate other educators and thus obtain a multiplier effect. - Incorporate SD into the everyday life of all on campus; it should not be seen as an abstract concept that does not relate to the day-to-day work. - Understand and meet individual needs; if the individuals do not internalize SD the institution will never be sustainable.

SD; (c) work with research coordinators and the individual researches to help them to incorporate SD into their disciplinary, interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary research; (d) incorporate SD into all outreach activities; (e) establish clear goals, objectives, indicators and methods for easy assessment, reporting, analysis and comparison and (f) use the reports and related information to accelerate the incorporation of SD among all university stakeholders. 4. The university should ensure continuity within a clear and transparent framework and a long-term plan for institutionalization of SD. For the universities that have already incorporated SD in their systems the work load is lighter. The following recommendations could help them improve their SD process: 1. Establish a high level SD coordinator position which is empowered and funded to ensure SD continuity. 2. Verify that SD is included in the five dimensions (curricula, research, campus operations, outreach, and assessment and reporting). 3. Perform thorough and regular assessment on where your university stands on the five dimensions and compare with your plan’s goals. By detecting the individuals, departments and centers that (a) are the most eager to work with SD, and (b) the most reluctant will help to detect the innovators and laggards. The first ones can be used as multipliers by educating the educators, and the last to be able to detect the highest change level and take the appropriate measures. 4. Plan and implement regular reporting of campus SD achievements. These points lead the author to make recommendations for the three main stakeholders in the universities: 1. Academic directors: You are the ones who lead and guide your university. It is imperative that you understand the importance of SD in the modern world and take action to incorporate it in your institution. There are several SD declarations and charters for universities; review them and if possible sign and use them as guides in your SD implementation. They can help you introduce SD to the university’s mission, policy and strategic planning. You should also select and empower a SD champion and help in the development and transformation of courses to more trans-disciplinary. 2. Professors: Through your work with students, you have the opportunity and obligation to educate them in the concepts, tools, approaches and values of SD. Work with the students and with your colleague professors towards a more trans-disciplinary and SD focused education. 3. Students: You, as the future leaders and decision-makers of society must learn about and apply the concepts, approaches and values of SD into your personal and professional lives. You have the energy and motivation to take new challenges. You can help your university by

This author offers some recommendations presented in the following paragraphs for: a. the universities that have not yet incorporated SD, b. the universities that have already incorporated it, and c. the three main stakeholders in universities. The recommendations are not exclusive for each group. All of the groups should study the recommendations proposed for the others, some of which can offer new insights. In the case of universities that have not yet incorporated SD into their systems the following recommendations are made: 1. The universities’ leaders must recognize that working towards SD is a necessity in the current world, where economic processes are rapidly degrading the natural and human resources upon which societies are totally and mutually interdependent. SD offers a possible vision to help reduce this degradation. One of the information and involvement sources are offered by the different SD declarations and charters for universities (for further information refer to IISD [18] and Lozano-Ros [2]). 2. The individual(s) that are willing to become SD champion(s) must be identified, engaged and supported with official authority and financial means. This champion or champions must receive a proper SD education and be highly motivated and skilled in educating and motivating others to also become engaged in the SD journey. 3. The university policies and strategies must be designed to holistically integrate SD as the golden thread throughout the university system. After this, the process of implementation in the five dimensions must be started with real involvement at all levels. The following steps may be among the first ones to be started: (a) implement resource savings, recycling and green procurement via the campus operations, since this will provide quick and visible results rapidly; (b) make course and curricular changes after educating educators on the concepts, tools and approaches in


R. Lozano / Journal of Cleaner Production 14 (2006) 787e796

demanding that the leaders and the faculty provide you ample opportunities to learn about and to become empowered to implement SD in your campus activities and subsequently in your societal functions. If your university still has not started to incorporate SD, become part of or create a student organization to promote SD in your campus context. It is important that you learn SD in the university through different channels: curricula, research, interaction with students and professors, remember that ‘‘hands-on’’ is usually the best approach.

and institutionalization. These should be managed according to their type. The SD incorporation and institutionalization can be accelerated with multiplier effects, guided by a SD champion. It is important that within the process the individual basic needs are understood and met. SD incorporation and institutionalization, even though a radical innovation, should be done incrementally and with the participation and empowerment of all the stakeholders to reduce the resistance to change and the appearance of unnecessary conflicts. References

10. Conclusions Although SD, as a concept, became famous after the 1987 publication by the Brundtland Commission of their report, titled, ‘‘Our Common Future’’ [1], many higher education institutions in the world have not yet attempted to introduce it to their systems. The concept of SD contrasts with the existing concepts and teaching methods in universities, which are mainly focused on resource depletion. This makes SD fall into the radical innovation category of the idea type. Worldwide, all university leaders should recognize that it is not possible to continue in such path and that it is necessary to integrate the environmental and social aspects into the economic ones. The author of this document has sought to answer the questions: (1) How to effectively and efficiently incorporate SD into the university’s policies, activities and system? (2) How to ensure that SD becomes an integral part of the university culture and create a multiplier effect within the institution and in society, in the short and long-terms? Throughout the SD incorporation and institutionalization in universities barriers to change will inevitable appear. These, as well as ways to overcome them are also presented in this document. Table 1 proposes the approaches and strategies that can be used to overcome each of the levels and aspects of the barriers to change. Overcoming the barriers to change is not an easy task. Together with the approaches and strategies, trans-disciplinary and multi-stakeholders approaches must become an integral part in the SD incorporation and institutionalization in universities. Top-levels must be engaged and supportive to the changes and help develop the university policy framework. Undoubtedly conflicts will appear in the SD incorporation
[1] World Commission on Environment and Development. Our common future. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 1987. [2] Lozano-Ros R. Sustainable development in higher education. Incorporation, assessment and reporting of sustainable development in higher education institutions. Master thesis, IIIEE, Lund University; 2003. [3] Cortese AD. The critical role of higher education in creating a sustainable future. Planning for Higher Education 2003;31(3):15e22. [4] Elton L. Dissemination of innovations in higher education: a change theory approach. Tertiary Education and Management 2003;9(3):199e214. [5] Rogers EM. Diffusion of innovations. New York: The Free Press of Glencoe; 1962. [6] Afuah A. Innovation management. Strategies, implementation and profits. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc.; 1998. [7] Roorda N. AISHE: auditing instrument for sustainable higher education. Dutch Committee for Sustainable Higher Education. Available at: <http://www.dho.nl/documents/AISHE-Book1.5.pdf>; 2001. [8] Sherry L. Sustainability of innovations. Journal of Interactive Learning Research 2003;13(3):209e36. [9] Dobes V. EMS and change of guiding ideas in direction of sustainability. Paper presented at 7th European roundtable on cleaner production, Lund; 2001. [10] Maslow AH. Motivation and personality. New York: Harper; 1954. [11] Maurer R. Beyond the wall of resistance: unconventional strategies that build support for change. 1st ed. USA: Bard Press; 1996. [12] Spence WR. Innovation: the communication of change in ideas, practices, and products. 1st ed. London: Chapman & Hall; 1994. [13] Luthans F. Organizational behavior. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2002. [14] Quinn RE, Spreitzer GM, Brown MV. Changing others through changing ourselves. The transformation of human systems. Journal of Management Inquiry 2000;9(2):147e64. [15] Carley M, Christie I. Managing sustainable development. 2nd ed. London: Earthscan Publications Ltd; 2000. [16] McKeown R. Education for sustainable development toolkit. Knoxville, Tennessee: University of Tennessee; 2002. [17] Hansson, L. Personal communication, IIIEE, Lund University; 2003. [18] IISD. Declarations for sustainable development [Online]. Available at: <http://www.iisd.org/educate/declare.htm>; 8th August 2005.

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