Interface, Inc. An inquiry into what lies beneath the tip of the iceberg. Business organizational culture to innovate for a better world.
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An important scientific as well as practical question is how the private business sector can transform itself towards more socially just and environmentally responsible business. Hence this research examines the business organizational culture of a specific case study of Interface, Inc. and how this influences their innovation processes for sustainability. A specific focus is given to the subjective experiences and views of employees themselves. Participant observation, shadowing and 40 qualitative semi-structured open interviews were conducted with the help of 7 qualitative indicators. The main results indicate that certain organizational cultural conditions of amongst others shared values and collective beliefs, communication levels, the level of formal centralization and autonomy all strongly impact innovation processes and are equally related to various challenges within the company. Besides rather than merely formulating environmental objectives, strategic alignment of social and environmental issues into core business strategy is crucial for a company to include international development issues. Most importantly for general private sector sustainability this means that not only investing in certain organizational cultural conditions is important, but also strategic alignment is needed to truly innovate for a more just and sustainable world.