Intercultural Assessment of Sustainability

Oekom research’s assessment of companies according to criteria of environmental, social and cultural sustainability is challenged by scarce response by Japanese
companies.

After the presentation of the rating agency and its tools, this project analyses the expressed explanations both from the German and the Japanese perspective with support by Trompenaars and Galtung/ Welfords contributions.

The definition of sustainability is not static, but describes the means of the process towards a more sustainable development. The Japanese contribution challenges the Western concepts.

It is not the question, which side provides the better framework, but how the intercultural dialogue is enabled. oekom’s CRR is perceived in this context. The author recommends to develop a cultural self-awareness and to engage in the global debate, also as a means to improve the company’s efficiency and profitability.

Personal note: The events in New York on September 11, 2001 can be interpreted as intense symbols in the context of an ill-defined global agenda of intercultural communication, which remains centred on Western concepts.

The author hopes, that this interruption of the Western “normality” leads to a new acceptance of the existence of other perspectives, leaving behind the dualism of “good” and “bad”, “civilised” and “uncivilised”, and opens space for new ways of doing business, based on cultural self-awareness and a stronger emphasis on the life of the global community. This includes the spiritual path towards sustainability.
Source: University of Pennsylvania
Author: Simeon Ries

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