The research study, which was awarded the José Manuel Blecua Prize, focuses on how companies innovate to achieve an important sustainability that is understood as a competitive advantage in the current market. In particular, it shows that in companies with integrated management systems it is easier to put the cleanest technologies into practice, that is, those that combine the needs of different stakeholders: from the customer interests to the workers and the communities in which the company operates .
Alfonso Hernández conducted a survey of forty companies in Europe and Latin America – all in the candle production sector – to examine the relationship between sustainability and an Integrated Management System (IMS). Hernández notes that “Companies with a higher level of integration have up to 50% of the chances to successfully implement clean technologies”. The study showed that companies with IMS innovate processes more efficiently and with fewer resources and at the same time take care of the needs of the company’s employees.
Doctorate and company thesis
Alfonso Hernández says that there is still a lot to do and discover in the work areas of the award-winning study: “There are many open questions about innovation, sustainability as well as lines and concepts such as open innovation, internationalization and gender equality.” These are research studies promising, according to the researcher, in relation to corporate governance: “Expanding knowledge about the integration of management systems can support us in decision-making and facilitate the path to corporate sustainability,” he explains.
In fact, Hernández applies the knowledge acquired during his PhD under the direction of Mercè Bernardo and Claudio Cruz-Cázares in his current position as director of the supply chain in a company that manufactures candles: “The study I carried out enabled me to understand the meaning to understand the integration of management systems in practice. During this pandemic, I’ve seen a company trying to meet the various goals of some stakeholders to hold their own and even grow thanks to its focus on quality, innovation, environmental protection and employee wellbeing. “In February, Hernández will continue his research at this faculty while teaching at the UB’s Faculty of Economics.
Article reference: Alfonso Hernández-Vivanco, Mercè Bernardo, Claudio Cruz-Cazares. “Sustainable innovation through the integration of management systems”, Journal of Cleaner Production, February 2018. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.06.052
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