Lessons from sustainable entrepreneurship towards social innovation in healthcare: how green buildings can promote health and well being

Jackson, Sharon M., Maleganos, John K. and Alamantariotou, Kleopatra (2016) Lessons from sustainable entrepreneurship towards social innovation in healthcare: how green buildings can promote health and well being. In: Nicolopoulou, Katerina, Karatas-Ozkan, Mine, Janssen, Frank and Jermier, John M., (eds.) Sustainable entrepreneurship and social innovation. Routledge Research in Sustainability and Business . Routledge, Taylor & Francis, London, UK, pp. 143-169. Full text not available from this repository.

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There is a growing body of evidence to suggest a connection between the competitiveness of an organization and the health of the communities in which it operates. These communities consist of ‘stakeholder groups’ (Freeman, 1984), both inside and outside the organization, with the term ‘stakeholder’ being broadly defined as anyone who affects or is affected by an organization (Clarkson, 1995; Freeman, 1984; Mitchell et al., 1997). Where the organization is seen to be operating in the positive interest of local society and the natural environment, studies have shown that creative and innovative solutions to everyday ‘internal’ organizational challenges can often come from external ‘secondary stakeholder groups’ and people in the local community (Beleno and Andres, 2014; Howaldt et al., 2014).

Green building design is becoming a popular area of sustainability innovation for minimizing impacts on the natural environment and improving human health through improved working conditions indoors. Environmental health studies suggest that people spend 90 per cent of their time indoors and therefore the ‘health’ of the indoor environment has a direct impact on human health and holistic wellbeing (Allen et al., 2015). However, most studies rely on people’s perceptions of comfort and aesthetics of ‘green buildings’ and there is conflicting debate about the real impact of ‘green building’ on improved human health (Paul and Taylor, 2007). The issue of ‘innovation’ towards sustainable development of improved performance and enhanced quality of service in healthcare is an ongoing international challenge (EURAM, 2012). Some studies have developed ‘health performance indicators’ which suggest the benefits of green building hospitals include faster patient recovery, improved staff performance and reduced infection rates (Allen et al., 2015). With this in mind, this chapter addresses the following questions, through a literature review and a single case study approach.
• What can the healthcare sector learn from sustainable entrepreneurship and social innovation?
• Can ecological buildings and ‘sustainable spaces’ positively impact on the performance and quality of services provided by healthcare organizations, for the benefit of stakeholder groups, including clients, patients and employees?

The conclusion of the study is that health performance indicators do suggest that patients recover faster in hospitals with eco-design and connectivity with nature (Allen et al., 2015) and both patient recovery and staff morale and performance are improved by the adoption of biophilic design to connect people to nature and bring buildings to life (Kellert et al., 2008). More broadly there is evidence of a sense of improved health and wellbeing in communities that are connected with nature (Tracada and Caperna, 2012).

Item Type: Book Section
Publisher: Routledge, Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 9781138812666
Departments: Research Centres > Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS)
Additional Information: Chapter 8 within book. Sharon Jackson is an Associate Scholar at the University of Cumbria (IFLAS).
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2016 12:29
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 16:17
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/2532
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