Business as Usual and the Barriers to Sustainable Innovations
The article explores the barriers that hinder fundamental reformulations of business problems – from the orientation of profitability and weak sustainability to that of strong sustainability and non-growth. For this purpose it employs a framework of problem formulation, rationality, and creativity in a systems perspective. This framework has its foundation in the assertion in the philosophy of science that rationality constitutes the ‘lenses behind the eyes’. The mainstream field of business and administration is placed within the rational-choice paradigm where the maximization of shareholder value has a received position as a ‘scientific truth’. By combining the metaphor of rationality with Csíkszentmihályi’s concepts of creativity (1999; 2006), this article argues that a shift of business paradigms may require the gatekeepers of the business field to adopt a new set of lenses. However, if the existing lenses are located ‘behind the eyes’, this means that a shift of paradigm is nearly impossible.