+1 (208) 254-6996 essayswallet@gmail.com

In this passage, the chief winemaker’s emphasis on building

a sustainable winemaking site has had an important bearing

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
In this passage, the chief winemaker’s emphasis on building a sustainable winemaking site has had an important bearing on the company’s value proposition.
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay

on the company’s value proposition. His personal commit-

ment is not only perceived as the initial motivation behind

74 Y. Wang et al.




the company’s sustainability positioning, but also an influ-

ential factor on the company’s ethical climate and culture in

what should be considered as excellent business practice.

This chief winemaker, therefore, as well as the aforemen-

tioned company owners, functions as the early leader whose

values set the organization’s ethical climate, the character-

istics of which eventually become internalized by all

members within the organization (Dickson et al. 2001).

Participant 5, in particular, reflected on how the leadership of

the company is crucial in fostering a sustainability culture in

the organization:

Growing sustainably is a feel-good thing, but it’s not

just that; it’s also just a culture in the company. The

owner of the company, XX [name of the owner], it

starts right at him. It’s a really good company to work

for and the culture and the management support for

sustainability is huge. We have a sustainability

meeting maybe once every six months; senior man-

agers, managing director come and sit down and

make time for it and that’s huge, but it starts from the

top, because if it doesn’t come from him [the owner],

there’s no buying. So it starts from the top and it’s the

culture; it’s something we don’t have to consider, and

it’s just something we do. It’s part of our everyday

business; it’s just second nature for us.

Here, the participant views sustainability practices as part

of the company’s culture—‘‘it’s just something we do. It’s

part of our everyday business’’ and it is just ‘‘second

nature.’’ The owner of the company—‘‘from the top’’—is

seen as the most important driver in development of such a

culture, from senior management to branch employees like

herself. For this participant, the owner’s commitment and

determination is the key to the company’s sustainability

culture simply because ‘‘if it doesn’t come from him,

there’s no buying.’’

Throughout the interviews, moral and ethical consid-

erations prevailed when individuals were identified as the

key motivation behind a company’s sustainability prac-

tices. These individuals’ values and beliefs, often influ-

enced by their experience, are the key to their personal as

well as the company’s commitment to a sustainability path.

Underlying such a commitment is the individual’s desire,

as well as ability, to transform self-interest into ethical and

virtuous business conduct. These motivating individuals

are crucial in fostering a sustainability culture within the

organizations and in elevating the ethical and moral ground

of others. As reflected by many participants in this study,

successful and inspirational individuals are committed to

social missions not only because such an act is ethical and

virtuous—‘‘it’s the right thing to do’’—but also because it

is the individual’s moral imperative to do so—‘‘it’s a

personal thing’’.


Our larger study of the New Zealand wine industry iden-

tified strong market motivation that aligns with the ‘‘busi-

ness case’’ argument for sustainable practices. According

to the practice–institution schema (Moore 2002), business

preference for self-regulation and reliance on market

mechanisms are expressions of its pursuit of ‘‘external

goods,’’ such as money, power, and fame, and such pursuit

of ‘‘external goods’’ is determined by its institutional

characteristics as a profit-oriented social economic entity.

Constrained by such institutional characteristics, then, so-

cial and environmental concerns in business would only be

considered when they can be justified as the pursuit of

external goods because of perceivable economic values.

Following such a rationale, then, where market rewards are

lacking, the ‘‘business case’’ argument would become weak

motivation for long-term and sustained CSR practices be-

cause they are not justifiable as the pursuit of ‘‘external


However, as the examples show in this paper, most

participants in this study demonstrated long-term commit-

ment to sustainability practices despite the weak market

signals in many cases. These individuals make a strong

ethical case in understanding sustainable business practices

as they show that individuals’ pursuit of internal goods in

many cases can transform into a company’s collective

pursuit of virtuous business conduct. Our examples show

that many individuals have been identified as the funda-

mental motivation for a company’s engagement with sus-

tainability initiatives and practices. These individuals’

personal commitments to, and philosophy about, sustain-

ability are often seen as the driving force behind not only

virtuous business conduct but also the development of a

moral and ethical climate in the organization.

Individuals’ moral and ethical-based considerations

move the discussion of business sustainability motivation

from the business case of self-interested enlightenment to

an ethical case of the individuals’ desire to ‘‘do good.’’ In

the practice–institution framework, the individuals’ desire

to ‘‘do good’’ is conceptualized in the notion of practice,

where one’s pursuit of internal goods is based on, and

derived from, the virtue and moral character of the indi-

vidual. Essential to an ethical case of sustainability prac-

tices, therefore, is the individuals’ moral character and their

pursuit of internal goods. In other words, whereas the

pursuit of external goods is determined by business’ in-

stitutional market characteristics, the pursuit of internal

goods depends on the individuals in business finding ra-

tionales in ethical narratives and intrinsic values. As shown

in the discussion of many participants as well as their re-

flections on others, for many individuals within the busi-

ness arena, leading business practices to a sustainability

Virtue Ethics and the Practice–Institution Schema 75




path is not only seen as ‘‘the right thing to do,’’ but also

simply a way of embracing and engendering virtue and

morality through example and virtuous conduct.


Order your essay today and save 10% with the discount code ESSAYHELP