Managing sustainability: The port of Los Angeles among an ecology of organizations

Jan Green Rebstock, Hilary Bradbury-Huang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to discuss managing sustainability across an industry and examine the catalyst, enablers, and challenges for systems-level change through a case study of one organization, the Port of Los Angeles (POLA), and its participation in the Sustainable Enterprise Executive Roundtable (SEER) action learning network. Methodology/approach – The chapter uses a case study approach, written by reflective practitioners in action. Findings – The challenges and enablers of achieving organizational change for sustainability within the POLA ecology are addressed as part of a forcefield of enablers and obstacles. Action learning in the context of collaborative projects across the ecology becomes a key process for managing change toward a sustainable goods movement ecosystem. Research/practical implications – The chapter is addressed to those scholar-practitioners who struggle with issues of organizational change for sustainability outcomes. The core work is to align organizations, within and around the node organization, for sustainability. By analyzing the systems forcefield, we can better perceive the implications for action and identify leverage for change. Social implications – Organizations are the key unit for culture change for sustainability within society. Engaging with other organizations involved in the work of sustainability is required to create systems-level change. Originality/value – The scholarly contribution is based on revisiting the usefulness of Lewin’s Change Forcefield, which the authors have adapted by integrating the concepts of the learning organization and systems thinking to help understand change and redesign efforts for sustainability within and among organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOrganizing for Sustainable Effectiveness
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages31
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameOrganizing for Sustainable Effectiveness
ISSN (Print)2045-0605
ISSN (Electronic)2045-0613


  • Goods movement
  • Green technologies
  • Learning
  • Organizational change
  • Port
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable business
  • Systems thinking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Managing sustainability: The port of Los Angeles among an ecology of organizations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this