Advancing Strategic Management Through Sustainable Finance

Tatiana PĂUN (ZAMFIROIU), Florina PÎNZARU

Abstract


In a VUCA world dominated by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity as it is the case today, strategic management is redefined by the necessity to acquire strong organizational capabilities of agility and resilience, simultaneously with a prominent orientation toward adoption of measures destined to meet climate change and social challenges.  The environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria are the new must when designing corporate programs, starting to be adopted by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as well, but with different success rates. High-profile ESG programs tend to be launched and developed mainly by organizations that integrate them into evolving business models and strategies, thus translating gradually to sustainable strategic management frameworks. Nevertheless, to adopt sustainability in business requires concomitantly acquiring financial performance and having access to disposable financial capital. The paper explores the current challenges of sustainable strategic management in parallel with the academic discussions on shareholders’ value creation, investigating the relation with available sustainable investments’ practices. The long-term and short-term financial performance of sustainable business practices are investigated, as well as the orientation of professional investors regarding ESG programs, as presented in recent literature. The authors discuss the importance of knowledge in adopting sustainability in business, the organizational maturity in adopting sustainability in day-to-day activities, as well as the impact of regulatory stimulus and of financial performance on investing in ESG programs. Finally, the paper tackles the necessity to make available more financial resources alongside a gradual transformation of managerial mentalities oriented toward measurable and well-defined planned sustainable strategic management.

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