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Sustainability, Volume 9, Issue 9 (September 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The end-of-life phase of products and the overall circular systems of reuse and recycling impose [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Shipment Consolidation Policy under Uncertainty of Customer Order for Sustainable Supply Chain Management
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1675; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091675
Received: 26 August 2017 / Revised: 13 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 874 | PDF Full-text (1285 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With increasing concern over the environment, shipment consolidation has become one of a main initiative to reduce CO2 emissions and transportation cost among the logistics service providers. Increased delivery time caused by shipment consolidation may lead to customer’s order cancellation. Thus, order
[...] Read more.
With increasing concern over the environment, shipment consolidation has become one of a main initiative to reduce CO2 emissions and transportation cost among the logistics service providers. Increased delivery time caused by shipment consolidation may lead to customer’s order cancellation. Thus, order cancellation should be considered as a factor in order uncertainty to determine the optimal shipment consolidation policy. We develop mathematical models for quantity-based and time-based policies and obtain optimality properties for the models. Efficient algorithms using optimal properties are provided to compute the optimal parameters for ordering and shipment decisions. To compare the performances of the quantity-based policy with the time-based policy, extensive numerical experiments are conducted, and the total cost is compared. Full article
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Open AccessArticle LEED, Its Efficacy and Fallacy in a Regional Context—An Urban Heat Island Case in California
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1674; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091674
Received: 1 September 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1021 | PDF Full-text (1100 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The use of energy in the building sector has increased rapidly over the past two decades. Accordingly, various building assessment methods have developed in green building practices. However, the questions still remain in regard to how positively green buildings affect regional surroundings. This
[...] Read more.
The use of energy in the building sector has increased rapidly over the past two decades. Accordingly, various building assessment methods have developed in green building practices. However, the questions still remain in regard to how positively green buildings affect regional surroundings. This study investigates the possible relationship between LEED-certified buildings and urban heat island effect. Using GIS with spatial regression, the study found that constructing an LEED building in a 30-m boundary could possibly lower the temperature of the surrounding environment by 0.35 °C. Also, having a higher certification level, such as Gold or Platinum, increased the lowering effect by 0.48 °C, while a lower certification level, such as Certified or Silver, had a lowering effect of 0.26 °C. Although LEED has gained a substantial amount of interest and skepticism at the same time, the study results could be a potential sign that the Sustainable Sites Credits or energy-efficient materials play a positive role in lowering the temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Capturing Tourists’ Preferences for the Management of Community-Based Ecotourism in a Forest Park
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1673; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091673
Received: 25 August 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1077 | PDF Full-text (1177 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The development of community ecotourism will require the integration of experience, culture, and information for management decision-making. We use a choice experiment to build a community ecotourism preference model incorporating aspects of profound experience and economics in a forest park, test the tourists’
[...] Read more.
The development of community ecotourism will require the integration of experience, culture, and information for management decision-making. We use a choice experiment to build a community ecotourism preference model incorporating aspects of profound experience and economics in a forest park, test the tourists’ heterogeneity by using a random parameter logit model, and estimate the values of various community ecotourism programs. The empirical results reveal that: (1) Tourists’ preferences for community ecotourism will increase with the inclusion of a mini tour, experiential activities, and the opportunities to taste local dishes and stay at a distinctive bed & breakfast (B&B); (2) The variety of tourists’ social backgrounds and recreational experiences resulted in the heterogeneity of the attributes; (3) The best combinations regarding community ecotourism were a small group size, profound or in-depth experiences, and experiential activities in a forest park. This pilot study generates useful information by demonstrating possible community ecotourism programs in the forest park, along with suggestions for a quality improvement program. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Tourism in Mountain Regions)
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Open AccessArticle Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Services from Small-Scale Agricultural Management Interventions in Burkina Faso: A Discrete Choice Experiment Approach
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1672; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091672
Received: 22 July 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1271 | PDF Full-text (765 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The main purpose of this paper is to estimate farmers’ preferences and their willingness to pay (WTP) for ecosystem services derived from four agricultural water management (AWM) and resource recovery and reuse (RRR) intervention options in Burkina Faso, using a choice experiment (CE).
[...] Read more.
The main purpose of this paper is to estimate farmers’ preferences and their willingness to pay (WTP) for ecosystem services derived from four agricultural water management (AWM) and resource recovery and reuse (RRR) intervention options in Burkina Faso, using a choice experiment (CE). These include; small water infrastructure, drip irrigation, recovery of organic matter from waste, and treated wastewater. The design decisions relating to attribute selection, the level of attributes, alternatives and choice tasks were guided by literature, field visits, focus group discussions, expert input and an iterative process of the STATA software to generate an orthogonal main-effects CE design. The data used was generated from a random sample of 300 farm households in the Dano and Ouagadougou municipalities in Burkina Faso. Results from conditional logit, latent class logit and mixt logit models show that farmers have positive and significant preferences for drip irrigation, treated wastewater, and organic matter. However, they are WTP on average more for drip irrigation and organic matter for agricultural sustainability. In line with economic theory, the cost of an intervention reduces demand for a given intervention. These findings can provide policy makers with evidence for agricultural policy design to build farmers’ resilience in the Sahel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Identifying Emerging Trends of Financial Business Method Patents
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1670; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091670
Received: 30 August 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 15 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 885 | PDF Full-text (2650 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Financial technology has become an important part of the banking industry in recent times. This study attempts to propose a framework to identify emerging areas and trends using financial business method patents. Based on the abstracts of financial business method patents registered at
[...] Read more.
Financial technology has become an important part of the banking industry in recent times. This study attempts to propose a framework to identify emerging areas and trends using financial business method patents. Based on the abstracts of financial business method patents registered at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, this study first applies latent Dirichlet allocation to identify emerging topics. The probability of the annual occurrence of each topic is adjusted through the exponentially weighted moving average to reflect the importance of the recent probability of topics. Each topic is classified as “hot” or “cold” depending on whether the exponentially weighted moving average of the probabilities exceeds the threshold. We applied survival analysis to the time gap of recurrently becoming hot from a cold status with the associated factor of financial business method patents. The findings suggest that the topic with the short granted period and high forward citation is likely to become hot. In addition, the topic that is aged and specific in narrow areas is likely to continuously change into the hot or cold status. The approach proposed in this study contributes toward understanding topic emergence in the financial area and pursuing sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Optimal Capacitor Placement in Wind Farms by Considering Harmonics Using Discrete Lightning Search Algorithm
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1669; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091669
Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1116 | PDF Full-text (3551 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Currently, many wind farms exist throughout the world and, in some cases, supply a significant portion of energy to networks. However, numerous uncertainties remain with respect to the amount of energy generated by wind turbines and other sophisticated operational aspects, such as voltage
[...] Read more.
Currently, many wind farms exist throughout the world and, in some cases, supply a significant portion of energy to networks. However, numerous uncertainties remain with respect to the amount of energy generated by wind turbines and other sophisticated operational aspects, such as voltage and reactive power management, which requires further development and consideration. To fix the problem of poor reactive power compensation in wind farms, optimal capacitor placement has been proposed in existing wind farms as a simple and relatively inexpensive method. However, the use of induction generators, transformers, and additional capacitors represent potential problems for the harmonics of a system and therefore must be taken into account at wind farms. The optimal location and size of capacitors at buses of an 80-MW wind farm were determined according to modelled wind speed, system equivalent circuits, and harmonics in order to minimize energy losses, optimize reactive power and reduce the management costs. The discrete version of the lightning search algorithm (DLSA) is a powerful and flexible nature-inspired optimization technique that was developed and implemented herein for optimal capacitor placement in wind farms. The obtained results are compared with the results of the genetic algorithm (GA) and the discrete harmony search algorithm (DHSA). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Electric Power Systems Research)
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Open AccessArticle Collaborative Landscape Planning: Co-Design of Ecosystem-Based Land Management Scenarios
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1668; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091668
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1271 | PDF Full-text (1490 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Land management in coastal areas has to cope with impacts of climate change and sea level rise. In Germany, landscape plans assess and organize the spatial allocation of land use as an environmental contribution to general spatial planning. Collaborative planning processes are important
[...] Read more.
Land management in coastal areas has to cope with impacts of climate change and sea level rise. In Germany, landscape plans assess and organize the spatial allocation of land use as an environmental contribution to general spatial planning. Collaborative planning processes are important to develop sustainable and ecosystem-based strategies to make coastal landscapes climate proof. However, there is little experience with collaborative processes in practical planning in Germany, and probably in other countries as well. This paper conducts an empirical case study in the low-lying coastal areas of northwest Germany. During a collaborative landscape planning process, four different ecosystem-based land management scenarios have been co-designed by regional experts and researchers. The participatory and iterative process included the development of scenario narratives to define planning goals, the use of land use elements and their relations to ecosystem services as planning entities in terms of indicators, the art-based illustrations of the different scenarios, and an evaluation and monitoring of the outcomes by regional experts. The decision-maker group decided on the so-called “actor-based” scenario, which contained freshwater retention areas (polders) to prevent potential uncontrolled flooding of the hinterland. This climate adaptation strategy has been implemented in the regional development plan of the county. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Landscape Management)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Entrepreneurial Orientation: A Business Strategic Approach for Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1667; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091667
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1449 | PDF Full-text (933 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper proposes sustainable entrepreneurial orientation (SEO) as a multidimensional construct that offers researchers the possibility of empirically testing their theoretical proposals in the sustainable entrepreneurship field. The authors propose an integration of different theories. In accordance with the dynamic capabilities view, SEO
[...] Read more.
This paper proposes sustainable entrepreneurial orientation (SEO) as a multidimensional construct that offers researchers the possibility of empirically testing their theoretical proposals in the sustainable entrepreneurship field. The authors propose an integration of different theories. In accordance with the dynamic capabilities view, SEO is approached under an organizational paradigm of strategic orientations delimited by competitive culture and multiple orientation perspectives. Furthermore, SEO’s nature is conceived at a firm-based entrepreneurship level and is based on an integrated triple bottom line sustainability. This approach is conceptualized using a categorization scheme and defined in accordance with the organizational predisposition perspective. Several research lines are proposed, all based on relational models with SEO as the key concept. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessCase Report Cashew as a High Agricultural Commodity in West Africa: Insights towards Sustainable Production in Guinea-Bissau
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1666; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091666
Received: 1 September 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1961 | PDF Full-text (3085 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In Sub-Saharan Africa, the West African region has highly diverse agro-climatic conditions, which grant the potential for a remarkable agricultural production of a great diversity of crops. Since the 1980s, the production volumes of most crops have grown vigorously for both domestic and
[...] Read more.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, the West African region has highly diverse agro-climatic conditions, which grant the potential for a remarkable agricultural production of a great diversity of crops. Since the 1980s, the production volumes of most crops have grown vigorously for both domestic and export markets. Traditional food crops—such as rice, groundnuts and sorghum—have been replaced by cash crops, namely cashew. Among the main cashew production areas, West Africa is the most recent and dynamic in the world, accounting for 45% of the worldwide production of cashew nuts in 2015. In consequence, cashew cultivation has acquired an important position in West African smallholder farming, providing positive economic and social effects. In this paper, we provide an overview of the cashew production system in the West African region, using Guinea-Bissau as a case study. In particular, we present some viewpoints concerning the impact of cashew production and discuss how the strong dependence on a single cash crop can compromise the local livelihoods and food security. Finally, some insights are given towards the sustainable production of cashew in the face of the recent risks affecting the agricultural sector in West Africa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Water-Thermal Energy Production System: A Case Study from Norway
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1665; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091665
Received: 18 August 2017 / Revised: 6 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to describe a new way of producing renewable energy based on fjords as a water heater. We will call this system the Water-thermal Energy Production System (WEPS), because the basic idea is to extract heating and cooling
[...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to describe a new way of producing renewable energy based on fjords as a water heater. We will call this system the Water-thermal Energy Production System (WEPS), because the basic idea is to extract heating and cooling energy from water. Although a prototype of WEPS has existed in Norway for more than ten years, a WEPS currently in operation has not been financially analyzed in the literature. Coastal parts of Norway have a potential of 5 TWh of profitable WEPS-facilities, due to convenient access to fjords containing water with stable all-season temperatures of about 4–12 °C when the depth of the water is about 50 m. This stability of the water temperature makes it possible to extract energy from the fjord in a very efficient way. The potential for economically-profitable WEPS in other parts of the world has not been estimated. In order to answer such a question, more research is required. We have conducted a case study of a WEPS located in the Norwegian municipality of Eid. This is the first full-scale Norwegian WEPS, and it has been operating since 2006. The nascent years have passed, and the technology has been in operation for some years. In this paper, we have made an estimate of the business profitability and the external effects based on past empirical evidence and some assumptions about future development in some key figures. The results suggests that WEPS-Eid has been a profitable investment carrying a positive internal rate of revenue, even if the present underutilization in production capacity will continue in the future. Stability in energy prices for heating purposes has also gained customers compared to the more volatile prices of alternative renewable energy, such as hydropower or wind turbines. The negative, external effects in the operating phase from WEPS-Eid are insignificant. Despite the significant profitability of the WEPS facility in Eid, there are two main obstacles for new entrants. There is a lack of relevant operational information for potential investors due to few facilities. This leads to uncertainty, and investments in WEPS appear as a risky business. Secondly, construction of a WEPS requires both big financial investments in digging and facilitating long trenches for a pipeline system and time and effort spent on acquiring the licenses needed for doing this work. A coordinating unit is probably required in order to get the necessary public and private licenses and to reduce fixed costs by coordinating other tasks in the same trenches, such as pipes for water and sewer, fiber cables and tele-cables. In Eid, the local municipal administration was the coordinating unit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle The Total-Factor Energy Efficiency of Regions in China: Based on Three-Stage SBM Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1664; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091664
Received: 14 August 2017 / Revised: 13 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1294 | PDF Full-text (2096 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction
Abstract
This paper constructs a three-stage Slacks-Based Measure (SBM) model to evaluate and analyze the total-factor energy efficiency (TFEE) of 276 cities in China during the period of 2000–2012 from the management and environment dual perspectives according to the principles of multi-stage Data Envelopment
[...] Read more.
This paper constructs a three-stage Slacks-Based Measure (SBM) model to evaluate and analyze the total-factor energy efficiency (TFEE) of 276 cities in China during the period of 2000–2012 from the management and environment dual perspectives according to the principles of multi-stage Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) model. In the first stage, a SBM-DEA model is applied to assess TFEE scores to illustrate the effects of the energy factors, while considering the undesirable output. In the second stage, we adjust the original data, and then in the third stage, we use SBM model again to get efficiency evaluation and obtain pure management efficiency of every decision unit. The results show that Chinese TFEE is still low and energy saving potential can be up to 34–46%, showing an inverted “U” shape tendency and characteristic of regional imbalance. Based on these findings, we further put forward some paths and strategies to improve Chinese energy efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Building Corporate Reputation through Sustainable Entrepreneurship: The Mediating Effect of Ethical Behavior
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1663; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091663
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 1 August 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1332 | PDF Full-text (1927 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article investigates how a management approach based on sustainable entrepreneurship can positively affect corporate reputation. The analysis showed that this effect is enhanced by the mediating effect of good governance based on ethical behavior. The empirical study was conducted using data for
[...] Read more.
This article investigates how a management approach based on sustainable entrepreneurship can positively affect corporate reputation. The analysis showed that this effect is enhanced by the mediating effect of good governance based on ethical behavior. The empirical study was conducted using data for 104 large Spanish firms defined as sustainable by the Corporate Reputation Business Monitor (MERCO) ranking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Differences of Cycling Experiences and Perceptions between E-Bike and Bicycle Users in the United States
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1662; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091662
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1874 | PDF Full-text (3185 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
E-bikes are bicycles that provide pedal-assistance to aid people in cycling. Because of the potential of promoting sustainable transportation, more attention has been focused on the e-bike market. This paper investigates the differences of the cycling experience and perceptions between e-bike and conventional
[...] Read more.
E-bikes are bicycles that provide pedal-assistance to aid people in cycling. Because of the potential of promoting sustainable transportation, more attention has been focused on the e-bike market. This paper investigates the differences of the cycling experience and perceptions between e-bike and conventional bicycle users, using samples drawn from independent bicycle dealer customers. A total of 806 respondents in the United States took the on-line survey, including 363 e-bike-owning respondents. The results show that e-bikes play a more important role in utilitarian travel, such as commuting and running errands, compared to a conventional bicycle. Conventional bicycle-owning respondents use their bicycles more for recreation and exercise. Also, e-bike owners tend to bike longer distances and take more trips per week. Both e-bike respondents and bicycle respondents stated that improved health was a key factor for cycling, while Millennials and Generation X respondents cycle to save time and improve the environment. Finally, an ordered logit model is proposed for evaluating factors that influence interest in future e-bike ownership. Travel purpose, e-bike familiarity, annual household income, and education level are statistically significant factors in the model. These findings begin to provide insight and a profile of potential new markets for e-bikes in the United States. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in an Urbanizing World: The Role of People)
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Open AccessArticle Perception of Space among Children Studying Their Local Grasslands: Examining Attitudes and Behavioural Intentions
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1660; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091660
Received: 3 August 2017 / Accepted: 3 August 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
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The study examined children’s perception of space in the context of place-based education. It investigates: the cognitive attitudinal dispositions involved in perceiving space as ‘empty’; and, how students’ attitudes toward one grassland site inform their attitudes and behavioural intentions when applied to similar
[...] Read more.
The study examined children’s perception of space in the context of place-based education. It investigates: the cognitive attitudinal dispositions involved in perceiving space as ‘empty’; and, how students’ attitudes toward one grassland site inform their attitudes and behavioural intentions when applied to similar spaces which are spatially and temporally remote. A group of urban primary students participated in a four-month environmental education program in which the students were immersed in a local grassland reserve through repeated visits and learning about grasslands. Data collection included surveys and a focus group activity concerning future neighbourhood planning. The results indicate that the children perceived as ‘empty’ spaces which were un-built, lacked human activities, or were un-identified on a map of the area. Students presented negative attitudes toward ‘empty spaces’ and were inclined to ‘fill’ them. In regard to future planning of their neighbourhood, high consistency was found between the students’ positive attitudes and their intentions to preserve the studied grassland site. This alignment between attitudes and behavioural intentions became disentangled when applied to remote sites at future times. While attitudes remained positive, behavioural intentions were willing to forsake grassland sites. The implications of the findings to environmental education are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle China’s Tree Residue Sources and Quantity Estimation
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1659; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091659
Received: 28 June 2017 / Revised: 4 September 2017 / Accepted: 10 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
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In China, due to forest resource scarcity, the problem of timber supply shortage has been around for a long time. The recycling and utilization of tree residues may effectively alleviate the situation and will contribute to emissions reduction and environmental protection. Therefore, this
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In China, due to forest resource scarcity, the problem of timber supply shortage has been around for a long time. The recycling and utilization of tree residues may effectively alleviate the situation and will contribute to emissions reduction and environmental protection. Therefore, this study aims to identify the tree residue resources and estimates their quantity in order to provide a basis for related research, such as its comprehensive utilization. This study redefines and reclassifies tree residue resources, in particular, it adds three tree residue resources: tree seedling residue, sanitation felling residue and urban greening and trimmings. This study divides the forest final felling and bucking residue resource into the stumpage section and the non-stumpage section, respectively, scientifically selects values of the percent of merchantable volume and the proportion of non-stumpage biomass of the stumpage volume, separately estimates the quantity of bamboo felling, bucking and processing residues, classifies the forest product processing zone into the sawing section and the forest product processing section, and estimates the current waste wood recycling quantity by tracking the timber output of previous years. The estimation results for tree residue quantity indicate that China’s tree residue reached 511.63 Mt in 2015, of which the forest tending and thinning residue was 406.76 Mt, nearly four-fifths of the total tree residue. Among the 31 provinces (municipalities and autonomous regions), more than half (55.57%) of the potential reserve of tree residues is distributed in the 13 provinces of southern China, 25% in the 10 provinces in the north, and approximately 20% in the plain and hilly areas. During the 12th Five-Year Plan period, the tree residue reserves showed positive growth. In the past three years (2014–2016), all state-owned forestry farms and collective-owned natural forests stopped commercial felling gradually, which directly resulted in a reduction of log output, thereby also curbing the growth of tree residue to a certain extent. Since the log output has ceased to further decline from 2017, it is predicted that China’s tree residue will continue the upward trend. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessing Structural Connectivity of Urban Green Spaces in Metropolitan Hong Kong
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1653; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091653
Received: 12 August 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1438 | PDF Full-text (4040 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Connectivity is a vital element in landscape structure because of its importance in species–landscape interactions. Connectivity analysis of green spaces in urban landscapes, especially in high-density cities such as Hong Kong, differs from that of habitats in natural or rural landscapes. Using the
[...] Read more.
Connectivity is a vital element in landscape structure because of its importance in species–landscape interactions. Connectivity analysis of green spaces in urban landscapes, especially in high-density cities such as Hong Kong, differs from that of habitats in natural or rural landscapes. Using the human being as the target species, we formulated with GIS techniques a resistance weight, a structural connectivity index and an ecological barrier effect index to assess connectivity of green spaces. Two factors were included in the modeling, namely the resistance of different land uses related to human activities, and the distance between different urban green spaces. We analyzed the relationships between the connectivity index of green spaces and green cover, elevation, building density and population density. Our results indicate that low connectivity usually occurs in both old and new town centers with high building density and low green cover, and in areas occupied by land uses with a high resistance weight. However, urban density may not necessarily have a negative influence on the structural connectivity of green spaces. Green cover also may not necessarily have positive impact on connectivity if the green spaces have a poor spatial pattern. Adding more green stepping stones, large green spaces and green corridors to form greenways and shortening the distance between urban green spaces can offer a spatial-planning strategy to increase the green space connectivity in Hong Kong. The study provides insights to optimize connectivity of green spaces to improve the urban living environment in high-density metropolises. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Regional Difference and Evolution and Convergence of Innovation Capability in China: Research on Space and Factorial Levels
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1644; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091644
Received: 12 August 2017 / Revised: 10 September 2017 / Accepted: 12 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 690 | PDF Full-text (727 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nowadays, in China, there exist obvious regional economic differences. However, narrowing such differences involves solving the problem of regional innovation differences. Furthermore, regional innovation capability disparity is an important factor in explaining the imbalances between regional economic development and international economic development. Hence,
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Nowadays, in China, there exist obvious regional economic differences. However, narrowing such differences involves solving the problem of regional innovation differences. Furthermore, regional innovation capability disparity is an important factor in explaining the imbalances between regional economic development and international economic development. Hence, the study first adopts the Theil index decomposition formula to analyze innovation difference and evolution law in China and its four regions during 1998–2013 from the perspective of high-tech industries. The study explains the reasons for the differences in regional innovation capability on the spatial and factorial levels. The study then analyzes the convergence of innovation capability on different space-scales by applying the spatial panel of the β convergence model. The analyses show that 2007 was the important inflection point in China’s regional innovation capability difference pattern; since then, the convergence speed of regional innovation capability has accelerated significantly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle County-Rural Transformation Development from Viewpoint of “Population-Land-Industry” in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region under the Background of Rapid Urbanization
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1637; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091637
Received: 24 July 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
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Abstract
In recent years, rural transformation has gradually become the focus of scholars and governments in the context of global sustainable development; it is of great significance to achieve urban-rural integration and coordinated development through studying the spatial-temporal characteristics and driving mechanism of rural
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In recent years, rural transformation has gradually become the focus of scholars and governments in the context of global sustainable development; it is of great significance to achieve urban-rural integration and coordinated development through studying the spatial-temporal characteristics and driving mechanism of rural transformation development. This paper analyzes the spatial-temporal characteristics of county-rural transformation development through drawing into the transformation degree (TD) and coordination degree (CD) from the viewpoint of “population–land–industry” (PT-IT-LT) in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. It explores the mechanism of PT-IT-LT on the rural transformation in different stages through multi-element positioning in the same space coordinate system and carries out functional regionalization on the basis of transformation and coordination research. The results showed that: (1) The CD and TD were divided into four types, namely, the lower-level, low-level, middle-level and high-level, and had a similar changed tendency from 1990 to 2015, where the middle- and high-level were in the central counties of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and the lower- and low-level were in the other parts of the region. (2) According to the mechanism analysis, stages A and B were mainly influenced by industry transformation; stage D was affected by population transformation; and stage E was influenced by land transformation. (3) The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region was divided into an ecological conservation area, a key development area and a core leading area, according to the study, which would provide a scientific basis to achieve integration of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and regional strategic optimization. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Factors Influencing Consumers’ Intention to Return the End of Life Electronic Products through Reverse Supply Chain Management for Reuse, Repair and Recycling
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1657; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091657
Received: 26 August 2017 / Revised: 14 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 18 September 2017
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Abstract
Resource depletion, population growth and environmental problems force companies to collect their end of life (EOL) products for reuse, recycle and refurbishment through reverse supply chain management (RSCM). Success in collecting the EOL products through RSCM depends on the customers’ participation intention. The
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Resource depletion, population growth and environmental problems force companies to collect their end of life (EOL) products for reuse, recycle and refurbishment through reverse supply chain management (RSCM). Success in collecting the EOL products through RSCM depends on the customers’ participation intention. The objectives of this study are: (1) To examine the important factors influencing customers’ attitude to participate in RSCM; (2) To examine the important factors influencing customers’ subjective norm to participate in RSCM; (3) To examine the main factors influencing customers’ perceived behavioral control to participate in RSCM; (4) To examine the influence of attitude, subjective norms and perceived behavioral control on customers’ participation intention in RSCM. The Decomposed Theory of Planned Behaviour (DTPB) has been chosen as the underpinning theory for this research. The research conducted employed the quantitative approach. Non-probability (convenience sampling) method was used to determine the sample and data was collected using questionnaires. Partial Least Squares-Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM) technique was employed. A total of 800 questionnaires were distributed among customers of electronic products in Malaysia. Finally, the questionnaire was distributed among the customers in electronic retailer companies based on convenience sampling method. The empirical results confirm that consumers perception about the risk associated with EOL electronic products, consumers’ ecological knowledge and relative advantages associated with reuse, repair and recycling can influence the attitude of consumers to return the EOL products for reuse, repair and recycling to producer. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Influence of the Ground Greening Configuration on the Outdoor Thermal Environment in Residential Areas under Different Underground Space Overburden Thicknesses
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1656; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091656
Received: 17 August 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 18 September 2017
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Abstract
In the underground space development of residential areas, outdoor thermal environments at the pedestrian level greatly depend on the ground greening configuration, which is in turn affected by the overburden thickness of the underground space (OTUS). However, few studies have considered the effects
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In the underground space development of residential areas, outdoor thermal environments at the pedestrian level greatly depend on the ground greening configuration, which is in turn affected by the overburden thickness of the underground space (OTUS). However, few studies have considered the effects of OTUS on the ground greening configuration and the further effects of the ground greening configuration on the outdoor thermal environment. This study aimed to provide insights into the design of OTUS for improving outdoor thermal environments. Two residential areas with row and enclosed layouts in Nanjing, China, were numerically studied using the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation software ENVI-met. Outdoor thermal environments in the two residential areas, which had the same greening coverage rate, were simulated under different OTUSs and ground green configurations. The results indicate that to create a comfortable outdoor thermal environment, the OTUS should be designed to satisfy the requirement for planting small trees. If this requirement cannot be adequately satisfied, individuals can also set up tree wells or add soil on top of underground structures to plant small trees, and establish an OTUS that can satisfy the requirement of planting large shrubs in other areas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Operating Strategy for Local-Area Energy Systems Integration Considering Uncertainty of Supply-Side and Demand-Side under Conditional Value-At-Risk Assessment
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1655; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091655
Received: 9 June 2017 / Revised: 14 September 2017 / Accepted: 15 September 2017 / Published: 18 September 2017
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Abstract
To alleviate environmental pollution and improve the energy usage efficiency of terminals, energy systems integration (ESI) has become an important paradigm in the energy structure evolution. Power, gas and heat systems are becoming tightly interlinked with each other in ESI. The dispatching strategy
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To alleviate environmental pollution and improve the energy usage efficiency of terminals, energy systems integration (ESI) has become an important paradigm in the energy structure evolution. Power, gas and heat systems are becoming tightly interlinked with each other in ESI. The dispatching strategy of local-area ESI has significant impact on its operation. In this paper, a local-area ESI operational scheduling model based on conditional value-at-risk (CVaR) is proposed to minimize expected operational cost, which considers the uncertainty of energy supply-side and demand-side as well as multi-energy network constraints, including electrical network, thermal network and gas network. The risk cost is analyzed comprehensively under the condition of under- or overestimated cost. On this basis, a hybrid method combining particle swarm optimization with interior point algorithm is executed to compute the optimal solutions of two-stage multi-period mixed-integer convex model. Finally, a case study is performed on ESI to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Grid)
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Open AccessReview The Development of Building Energy Conservation in China: A Review and Critical Assessment from the Perspective of Policy and Institutional System
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1654; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091654
Received: 15 August 2017 / Revised: 15 September 2017 / Accepted: 15 September 2017 / Published: 18 September 2017
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Abstract
The rapid development of the building industry has become an important driving force for the fast growing energy use in China. The building industry contributed 26.4% of China’s GDP, and the building energy use accounted for 33% of the total energy use in
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The rapid development of the building industry has become an important driving force for the fast growing energy use in China. The building industry contributed 26.4% of China’s GDP, and the building energy use accounted for 33% of the total energy use in China. Building energy conservation plays an important role in reaching the peak of carbon emissions before 2030, which was committed by the Chinese government in the Paris Agreement. Building energy conservation is a complex system. The guidance and support of government policies are one of the important issues. This research analyzed the institutional framework for building energy conservation in China. The roles and functions of each institution were critically reviewed. The policy system for building energy conservation was also analyzed, which included National Laws; Regulations of the State Council; Provisions of Ministries under the State Council; and National Standards, Plans and Programs. The suggestions for further improvements were drawn from the critical analysis such as defining clear and specific responsibility of management institutions, improving regulations and standard system, establishing the market leading mechanism, etc. This research draws an overall picture of the building energy conservation in China from the policy and institutional perspective. Findings provide a useful reference for increasing environmental performance in the building industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle The Reduction of CO2 Emissions by Application of High-Strength Reinforcing Bars to Three Different Structural Systems in South Korea
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1652; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091652
Received: 19 August 2017 / Revised: 13 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 18 September 2017
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Abstract
The architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry consume approximately 23% of the national energy annually, and are considered among the highest energy consuming industries. Recently, several studies have focused on establishing strategies to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide in the AEC industry
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The architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry consume approximately 23% of the national energy annually, and are considered among the highest energy consuming industries. Recently, several studies have focused on establishing strategies to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide in the AEC industry by utilisation of low-carbon materials, material reuse, recycling and minimal usage; selection of an optimal structural system and structural optimisation; and optimisation of construction operations. While several studies examined material selection and replacement in concrete, there is a paucity of studies investigating the replacement and implementation of high-strength re-bars to lower the carbon dioxide emissions in buildings. To fill this research gap, the purpose of this study involves calculating the emissions of carbon dioxide by applying high-strength reinforcement bars in three different types of buildings. The input–output analysis method was adopted to compute the emissions of carbon dioxide by using the yield strength and size. This study showed that the application of the high-strength re-bars is beneficial in reducing the input amount of materials, although the quantity of reinforcing bars on the development and splice increased. Furthermore, the application of high-strength deformed bars is also advantageous as a means of carbon dioxide reduction in the studied structural systems. In this study, the CO2 emissions of three different structural systems indicated that implementing SD500 re-bars is the most effective method to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Seeing the Immaterial: A New Instrument for Evaluating Integrated Management Systems’ Maturity
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1643; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091643
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 2 September 2017 / Accepted: 12 September 2017 / Published: 18 September 2017
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Abstract
Integrated management systems (IMSs) can already be considered a proven tool to help companies cope with the challenges associated with staying competitive in the face of dynamic stakeholder requirements. The present paper proposes a new instrument designed to evaluate and communicate the maturity
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Integrated management systems (IMSs) can already be considered a proven tool to help companies cope with the challenges associated with staying competitive in the face of dynamic stakeholder requirements. The present paper proposes a new instrument designed to evaluate and communicate the maturity achieved by an integrated management system (IMS) for responding properly to the requirements of its reference standards in a consolidated manner. The approach mainly aims to highlight the level of integration achieved on common requirements of the component standards and to determine the extent to which they work together as a whole. At the same time, it is useful to identify the needs for improvement in the system as a whole or in its sub-systems. The proposed methodology uses the transmutation in the RGB color space (red–green–blue) of the process audits’ results achieved under each standard, followed by the analysis of the IMS characteristics, with tools specific to the color space, based on the affinities between the two domains. To sustain the thoroughness of this approach, a case study of an integrated system for an industrial company is presented, analyzing the situation from two different evolution stages of the IMS. The approach is presented as a proof-of-concept, without large scale validation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Exploring Flood Resilience Thinking in the Retail Sector under Climate Change: A Case Study of an Estuarine Region of Taipei City
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1650; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091650
Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 11 September 2017 / Published: 17 September 2017
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Abstract
With predictions of extreme precipitation and sea-level rise under climate change that may induce morphological changes of estuaries, increased estuarine flood risk needs to be considered. The aim of this case study was to contemplate sustainability from the perspective of flood resilience that
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With predictions of extreme precipitation and sea-level rise under climate change that may induce morphological changes of estuaries, increased estuarine flood risk needs to be considered. The aim of this case study was to contemplate sustainability from the perspective of flood resilience that focuses on environmental problems and solutions. The study provided insights into retailers’ resilience thinking regarding the flood-prone Shetzu Peninsula in Taipei City. It is of concern that the retailers strategically identified potential flood risks and have developed adaptive knowledge, skills, and networks. The Location Quotient (LQ) analysis was conducted to verify that the retail sector of Shetzu Peninsula was considered a basic industry. Further assessments, an interactive visualization model and a consumption intensity map, were provided as supportive data. Based on the results, semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore 15 key retailers’ resilience thinking on how to adapt to floods in terms of risk communication under climate change. This approach is vital to meet the adaptation challenge in the Shetzu Peninsula. As a result, the study indicated that retailers have strategically identified potential weather-related risks and have implemented adaptation plans for each store functions. The study discussed that, in the face of climate change, maladaptation, interactive visualization models for communicating flood risks, and place attachment are key issues to increase flood resilience under climate change. The introduction of adaptation interventions in terms of urban resilience as a part of a comprehensive strategy helps to manage the impacts of climate change towards urban sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Geography and Environmental Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle The Sustainable Personality in Entrepreneurship: The Relationship between Big Six Personality, Entrepreneurial Self-Efficacy, and Entrepreneurial Intention in the Chinese Context
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1649; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091649
Received: 30 July 2017 / Revised: 9 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 17 September 2017
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Abstract
This study examined the relationships between Big Six personality and entrepreneurial intention, inclusive of the mediating role of entrepreneurial self-efficacy in the Chinese context. Survey data from 280 college students reveal that Emotional Stability, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, and Interpersonal Relationship were positively associated with
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This study examined the relationships between Big Six personality and entrepreneurial intention, inclusive of the mediating role of entrepreneurial self-efficacy in the Chinese context. Survey data from 280 college students reveal that Emotional Stability, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, and Interpersonal Relationship were positively associated with entrepreneurial intention. Agreeableness and Openness, however, had no effect on entrepreneurial intention in this study. Mediation analysis further indicated that Emotional Stability, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, and Interpersonal Relationship affected entrepreneurial self-efficacy, thus playing an indirect impact on entrepreneurial intention. In contrast, Agreeableness and Openness had no mediating role in the present study. These findings validate the bridge mechanism of entrepreneurial self-efficacy underlying the relationships between Big Six personality and entrepreneurial intention. These results highlight the direct role of sustainable personality as a predictor of entrepreneurial intention, especially as we note the decisive effect of the Interpersonal Relationship dimension in the Chinese context for the first time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Climatic Change Adaptation on Agricultural Productivity in Central Chile: A Stochastic Production Frontier Approach
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1648; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091648
Received: 23 June 2017 / Revised: 4 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 16 September 2017
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Abstract
Adaptation to climate change is imperative to sustain and promote agricultural productivity growth, and site-specific empirical evidence is needed to facilitate policy making. Therefore, this study analyses the impact of climate change adaptation on productivity for annual crops in Central Chile using a
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Adaptation to climate change is imperative to sustain and promote agricultural productivity growth, and site-specific empirical evidence is needed to facilitate policy making. Therefore, this study analyses the impact of climate change adaptation on productivity for annual crops in Central Chile using a stochastic production frontier approach. The data come from a random sample of 265 farms located in four municipalities with different agro-climatic conditions. To measure climate change adaptation, a set of 14 practices was used in three different specifications: binary variable, count and index; representing decision, intensity and quality of adaptation, respectively. The aforementioned alternative variables were used in three different stochastic production frontier models. Results suggest that the use of adaptive practices had a significant and positive effect on productivity; the practice with the highest impact on productivity was irrigation improvement. Empirical results demonstrate the relevance of climate change adaptation on farmers’ productivity and enrich the discussion regarding the need to implement adaptation measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle The Effect of Off-Farm Employment on Forestland Transfers in China: A Simultaneous-Equation Tobit Model Estimation
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1645; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091645
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 16 September 2017
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Abstract
China’s new round tenure reform has devolved collective forests to individuals on an egalitarian basis. To balance the equity–efficiency dilemma, forestland transfers are highly advocated by policymakers. However, the forestland rental market is still inactive after the reform. To examine the role of
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China’s new round tenure reform has devolved collective forests to individuals on an egalitarian basis. To balance the equity–efficiency dilemma, forestland transfers are highly advocated by policymakers. However, the forestland rental market is still inactive after the reform. To examine the role of off-farm employment in forestland transfers, a simultaneous Tobit system of equations was employed to account for the endogeneity, interdependency, and censoring issues. Accordingly, the Nelson–Olson two-stage procedure, embedded with a multivariate Tobit estimator, was applied to a nationally representative dataset. The estimation results showed that off-farm employment plays a significantly negative role in forestland rent-in, at the 5% risk level. However, off-farm activities had no significant effect on forestland rent-out. Considering China’s specific situation, a reasonable explanation is that households hold forestland as a crucial means of social security against the risk of unemployment. In both rent-in and rent-out equations, high transaction costs are one of the main obstacles impeding forestland transfer. A remarkable finding was that forestland transactions occurred with a statistically significant factor equalization effect, which would be helpful to adjust the mismatched labor–land ratio and improve the land-use efficiency. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial Special Issue: “Maintaining Ecosystem Services to Support Urban Needs”
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1647; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091647
Received: 11 September 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 831 | PDF Full-text (188 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cities are growing worldwide, in their geographical extent with respect to their general and current macro-economic significance, as well as regarding their total populations [...]
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintaining Ecosystem Services to Support Urban Needs)
Open AccessArticle Core Elements for Organizational Sustainability in Global Markets: Korean Public Relations Practitioners’ Perceptions of Their Job Roles
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1646; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091646
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 10 September 2017 / Accepted: 10 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
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Abstract
For the purpose of enhancing organizational sustainability in global markets, organizational public relations practitioners in international firms take roles to respond toward the global public. This study explores practitioners’ perceptions of their job roles in global public relations firms and identifies the elements
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For the purpose of enhancing organizational sustainability in global markets, organizational public relations practitioners in international firms take roles to respond toward the global public. This study explores practitioners’ perceptions of their job roles in global public relations firms and identifies the elements that support those roles. To address these concerns, a qualitative method, specifically an in-depth interview, was conducted because it endeavors to reveal and understand what lies deep within the complexity of a little-known phenomenon. As the specific public of this research, Korean practitioners were selected, since the public relations industry in Korea has been influenced by globalization, and diverse global public relations firms have branches in Korea. Analysis of in-depth interviews suggests a typology of three newly defined roles for Korean practitioners: strategic counselor/manager role, non-strategic technician role, and business manager role for practitioners’ own firms. It also identifies nine elements affecting public relations practitioners’ roles. The important and powerful elements were chiefly attributed to culturally specific influences. This study provides critical clues for enhancing both entrepreneurial sustainability in global markets and the professionalism of public relations. Finally, public relations practitioners will be better able to make optimal decisions regarding their client organizations’ adopted strategy. Full article
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