MS, Ecological Systems Engineering, Purdue University
BS, Physics, Purdue University
My life is dedicated toward all life flourishing together and all people experiencing their work as a calling.
STATEMENT OF INTEREST
Some suggest we mimic nature, while others point out that nature is a survival of the fittest, competition based reality. However, are we limited to the survival based mechanisms from which we evolved? Or, perhaps the very things that distinguish us as human, when embraced, will allow us to be in flourishing relationship with one another and the other life forms that co-inhabit our Earth. Thus, through our own self-actualization we could grow toward the possibility of sustainability.
(1) Industrial symbiosis (IS) is the possibility of abundance through the elimination of waste. IS involves the transformation of an industrial system constructed in linear food chains, into one that resembles a food web, where by-products from one industry are converted to co-products in another. While successful examples, such as Kalundbord, Denmark have spontaneously emerged, attempts to plan IS, such as eco-industrial parks, have generally failed. My research looks for common intrinsic individual behaviors in successful cases of spontaneous IS. I hypothesize those individuals who implement industrial symbiosis synergies engage strongly in “job-crafting” the process of changing the task or relational boundaries of one’s work. Individuals responsible for industrial symbiosis must expand their work outside of traditional job related social relationships and routine job tasks. This work builds on research that has shown people who experience their work as a “calling”, in contrast to a “job”, are most likely to job-craft. Thus, the experience of work at an individual or micro level is likely to impact the macro evolution of efficiency and sustainability within our industrial systems.
(2) How people experience their work influences a gamut of personal and organizational performance characteristics. At an individual level, employee experience impacts work satisfaction, intrinsic motivation, access to relational resources, and personal resilience. At the organizational level, experience impacts organizational identity, absenteeism, profitability, productivity, quality, employee loyalty, customer retention, innovation, and organizational resilience (Cameron, Bright et al. 2004; Brickson 2005). Through case studies, in-depth interviews, and surveys, I am exploring how corporate sustainability initiatives impact people’s experience of their work and the resulting implications for performance. I hypothesize that understanding these relationships will lead to the identification of mechanisms that link Earth’s long-term sustainability with the near-term flourishing of organizations and individuals.