Eco-control offers an integrated management approach to transitioning toward corporate sustainable development, such as sustainable agriculture management. However, the use of integrated management controls has not yet been explored in the field of agriculture management. This is an essential consideration as the transition to sustainable agriculture management practices is not merely the adoption of environmentally friendly and socially responsible agriculture practices, but an organization-wide change and development mechanism occurring over a period of time.

Ki-Hoon Lee and project team discuss the sustainable agricultural practices with the project facilitators in an experimental tea block in Hatton, Sri Lanka. (Photo supplied)

Nuwan Gunarathne, PhD candidate, and Associate Professor Ki-Hoon Lee from the Department of Business Strategy and Innovation have conducted a study that identifies how the eco-control procedures in sustainable agriculture management change when a commercial tea company transits to different stages of corporate sustainable development. In Sri Lanka, the tea industry, one of the major agricultural sectors, accounts for 19 per cent of the nation’s foreign earnings and provides direct employment to over 350,000 people.

The researchers have developed an analytical framework, combining the sustainability management development perspective with the processual view of integrated eco-control. Using a longitudinal case study approach, the data have been collected via in-depth interviews, site visits, and document analyses, in respect of a commercial tea company in Sri Lanka.

The findings of the study show how the processual eco-controls have changed as a result of internal and external challenges faced in the different sustainability management development stages of the transition to sustainable agriculture management. It highlights the need for gaining a better understanding of the actions and decisions at the field (operational) and organisational level in promoting sustainable agriculture management practices in agribusiness firms.

Please click here to read the full “Eco-control for corporate sustainable management: A sustainability development stage perspective” journal article, written by Nuwan Gunarathne and Ki-Hoon Lee.