• Andrew Mackenzie

Student thesis: Doctor of Business Administration


Society is at an energy crossroads today. How will our global economy become sustainable for future generations? For today's global organizations can the right thing and the profitable thing be the same thing? Can (or should) successful organizations improve the human condition? Worldwide, buildings account for 17 per cent of fresh water withdrawals, 25 per cent of wood harvest, 33 per cent of CO2 emissions and 40 per cent of material and energy use. Integrated 'green' and sustainable building design is being heralded as the fastest route to ecological modern buildings in Europe, North America and Asia (United States Green Building Council, 2008). On average North Americans spend 90 per cent (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2009) of their time indoors, a large portion of this time in commercial buildings. Furthermore, salaries and wages account for approximately 90 per cent (Romm and Browning, 1994) of an organization's building-related expenses. However, in our rush to create 'green' and sustainable North American commercial buildings and a laser-like focus on reducing carbon footprints and reducing energy costs have we lost sight of the purpose of the commercial building which is the generation of wealth through the productivity of the commercial building occupant and by extension the occupant's organization. For if any slight increase or if any slight decrease in occupant and organizational productivity can be proven this would easily justify or (un)justify respectively most if not all North American commercial building sustainability initiatives as 'productivity is the fundamental economic measure of a technology's contribution' (Brynjolfsson, 1994). In other words have we increased or at a minimum maintained occupant and organizational productivity as we move our North American commercial building occupants and organizations into these newly created enhanced 'green' and sustainable structures with their new or enhanced 'green' and sustainable systems, processes and designs. The originality of the research will be in the linking of these two distinct areas namely; organizational productivity to North American commercial building 'green' and sustainability initiatives. Furthermore, through the mixed-methods research methodology approach we will attempt to develop new knowledge and findings as we implement measureable 'green' and sustainable strategies into comparative North American commercial building research settings.
Date of Award1 Aug 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorJeffrey Ramsbottom (Supervisor) & A Wood-Harper (Supervisor)


  • occupant
  • built environment
  • employee
  • buildings
  • building
  • sustainable
  • green
  • productivity

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