Research on Sustainability Management

The common denominator for our research is sustainability management in a broad sense, including governance and leadership.

Sustainability management is about the processes that companies, entrepreneurs, public and private organisations, and individuals need to engage in to address major global challenges. The group considers sustainability management at various scales, ranging from sustainability behaviour at an individual level to the local-regional, and to the global/ supra national. We study why and how individuals become sustainable in their consumption behaviours, how the value chains in production, services and logistics can become more sustainable and how public, private, and non/profit sectors can collaborate toward this goal.

How we conduct our research

The group has a wide methodological spectrum with equal emphasis on qualitative and quantitative approaches. For example, experiments, observations, surveys, secondary data analysis, interviews, ethnographies, and discourse analyses are employed. The research methods are often mixed or multimethod. Some of our work is characterised by participatory research design, involving stakeholders and end users in the process while some is more basic and theoretical in nature.


The group operates with a quadruple bottom line definition of sustainability: cultural, ecological, economic, and social. Consequently, the work of the research group is interdisciplinary, both due to the broad field covered by the members and through collaboration with colleagues across USN and externally. The group members have a background in management, innovation, marketing, education, cultural studies, and finance to name a few of our fields.

Partners and networks

Sustainability as a process requires a trans-sectorial partnership between academia, industries, governments, and the public. Our local partners are enterprises such as destination management organisations in tourism, business enterprises such as Vest-Telemark Næringshage, municipalities such as Vinje and regional governments such as Vestfold and Telemark Regional Council, as well as national institutions such as the Norwegian Road Authority, to name a few.

Regionally and internationally, we participate in project consortia supported by EU, NRC, and various bilateral agreements. Academic collaboration is both within Norway for instance, with UiT and Nordlandsforskning, and internationally, with for instance, Griffith University Centre for Planetary Health and Food Security; Australia, Leeds Beckett University, UK; University of Southern Denmark, Denmark, Stockholm University, Sweden, and Hochschule der Medien, Germany.

We are active in several research networks such as NORTHORS, RRI, and EURAM. We are also and partners in the USN Centre for sustainability transition.

Ongoing research projects


Affiliated members

PhD- students