COVID-19, a disaster for sustainability? Investigating the sustainable goals in the Dutch event industry

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This research contributes to the lack of research in the effect of a disruptive environment on the goal setting in combination with the incorporation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Previous literature on this incorporation process is mostly based on advices whereas this research empirically searched for the exact process from SDGs towards sustainable organizational goals and how a disruptive environment like the COVID 19 pandemic is affecting this. By using the Dutch event industry as a case, during the COVID 19 pandemic, 10 different organizations are interviewed to provide a better insight in this unique phenomena. The results are that the process from SDGs towards the sustainable goals contains four phases in a feedback process with continuously evaluating the goals, namely: identify options, elaborate options, evaluate options and improve options. The questions arises how COVID 19 is affecting this incorporation. This pandemic was causing a loss in financial resources but the organizers used this unique context to reevaluate their sustainable concepts with doing more research in sustainable options. The disruptive environment is positively affecting the incorporation of SDGs and development of sustainable goals. Managers can use this study as a motivator to invest in incorporating SDGs in their goal setting and use this unique environment and time as an ideal moment to reevaluate and improve their sustainable concept. The results show a positive effect, however due to timespan of this research only one industry and 10 organizations are included. Future research might focus on more industries and organizations to increase the knowledge about the incorporation of SDGs and the effect of a disruptive environment.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen