Secondment at Business Hub Zealand, July, August, December 2022 and January 2023

The work package (WP) 3 investigates cross-level influences on managerial practices to encourage, facilitate and guide specific employee behaviors towards firm’s necessities in a contemporary business context that is characterized by sustainability concerns. Secondments at the Business Hub Zealand (Erhvervshus Sjaelland), Denmark, were carried out during July and August 2022 and December/January 2023 coinciding with the publication of the deliverable 3.1. at the end of December 2022.

Being located at the Business Hub provided the opportunity not only to engage with business practitioners and consider practitioner interest in the research framework at the start of the 3-year project, but also to engage with members from the project’s Moroccan, Vietnamese, and Danish project consortium partners to agree on areas for collaborations.

With the Danish Project Consortium partners and colleagues, I discussed how to capture appropriately the social sustainability concept, its potential linkages with ecological concerns and economic sustainability and the practical implications and interests by practitioners. From the perspective of the project’s WP3 actions my aim was to explore how to concretize best the role of (strategic) people management approaches and practices to respond to varying sustainability concerns by firms that appear to be driven by legal requirements, competitor’s actions and behaviors and the firm’s own sustainability standards. As such, sustainability goals
are far from being static but should be captured as dynamic firm performance measures.

Steaming from the actions during the secondments and part of the network activities, I prepared together with project colleagues a call for paper for the European Academy of Management
(EURAM) conference 2023 to bring together academic research like the one pursued by EM4FIT’s WP3 actions carried out by other academics. This call for paper was accepted and published in September 2022. For this call, I also submitted one contribution that was prepared with consortium members from the International University of Japan and the University of Southern Denmark. This submission elaborates on the role of strategic people management for firm’s sustainability performances in a dynamic business context. This relates to actions carried out during these secondments for WP3.

In addition, a research line was developed in relation to social responsibility concerns and innovative measures taken by financial service providers. While the research setting is set into the Moroccan context to capture the role of value-oriented financial services, the co-working
with Moroccan researchers facilitated the development of the research framework under which in subsequent secondments the actions for empirical enquiry will be carried out. Furthermore, my participation in the International Doctoral Research workshop at the Academy Sankelmark provided the opportunity to disseminate conceptual and empirical
knowledge and to raise awareness about the actions carried out and the objectives of this WP and the EM4FIT project to an international cohort of young academics.

Author: Sylvia Rohlfer, CUNEF