A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Sustainability activism : a review of the state of the art (2021)

Mäkelä, M., & Olkkonen, L. (2021). Sustainability activism : a review of the state of the art. In S. Teerikangas, T. Onkila, K. Koistinen, & M. Mäkelä (Eds.), Research Handbook of Sustainability Agency (pp. 140-154). Edward Elgar Publishing. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781789906035.00015

The research was funded by Strategic Research Council at the Research Council of Finland.

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Mäkelä, Marileena; Olkkonen, Laura

Parent publication: Research Handbook of Sustainability Agency

Parent publication editors: Teerikangas, Satu; Onkila, Tiina; Koistinen, Katariina; Mäkelä, Marileena

ISBN: 978-1-78990-602-8

eISBN: 978-1-78990-603-5

Publication year: 2021

Pages range: 140-154

Number of pages in the book: 464

Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing

Place of Publication: Cheltenham

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4337/9781789906035.00015

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published: https://lutpub.lut.fi/handle/10024/163091


Activism has long driven sustainability, but lately it has developed into new forms where various new actors such as shareholders, employees and chief executive officers (CEOs) engage in the phenomenon. We aim for a broad understanding of the current state of sustainability activism by reviewing 30 leading journals in the fields of accounting, management and sustainability. Our analysis focuses on defining the different types of activism in terms of the actors, targets, issues addressed and means applied. The results show that activism has come a long way from being understood as just a tug of war between non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and companies. Sustainability activism is currently a broad phenomenon where different actors aim to transform businesses externally and internally. Especially activism by internal actors such as employees and CEOs is a relatively new phenomenon that deserves the attention of future studies.

Keywords: sustainable development; phenomena; activism; activists; agents (actors); human agency; influencing; individual; enterprises; organisations (systems); values (conceptions)

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2023-03-10 at 10:28