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Special Issue "Quality Management as a Springboard to Solve Sustainability Issues"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2023 | Viewed by 227

Special Issue Editors

Department of Management and Innovation Systems, University of Salerno, 84084 Fisciano, Italy
Interests: sustainability management; innovation management; system thinking

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As the human footprint permeates ecosystems, economies, and whole societies as an effect of the Anthropocene (Crutzen, 2006), the already close connection among environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability has become more significant than ever (Floridi, 2022). In addition, the pace at which disruptive technologies are advancing raises new questions and challenges in terms of both resource allocation and business (re)configuration as well as policy and regulations. The rising technological frontier is defining new paradigms, and pervades all socio-economic processes. This radicality is the essence of innovation, a pivotal dimension in a world increasingly affected by systemic risks (e.g., the COVID-19 pandemic) since it prevents the collapse by allowing a constant re-framing of resources: sustaining infinite growth in a world of finite resources requires continuous cycles of innovation that reiterate the possibility of creating and sustaining productive ecosystems. However, this may configure a paradox. Indeed, on the one hand, mankind appeals to innovation to face present complex megatrends such as poverty and inequality, health and access to food, availability of water and climate change; and on the other hand, innovation is among the relevant causes of unsustainable development. A possible answer lies in giving innovation a “sustainable” turn by merging it with the logic of quality. Infused with quality logic, sustainable innovation requires a different management philosophy that involves, in an integrated manner, new models of leadership and the valorization of needs that go beyond companies’ subsistence and security. Orienting innovation towards quality means adopting a profoundly transformed, systemic logic consistent with the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (Lim et al., 2022). Indeed, quality management is a fundamental lever to cut wastes and costs, also engaging people in achieving continuous improvements. Furthermore, the meaning of quality itself is expanding not only as tool for satisfying customer quality needs, but also as a trigger for social value and the accomplishment of future generations’ needs. Therefore, in the logic frame of quality, the term “sustainable” implies a socially desirable and acceptable vision of innovation, along with feelings of trust and hope for the future of humanity. However, to date, we have neither theoretically nor empirically a clear and shared picture of what is meant by quality-driven sustainable innovation: the definitions are quite fragmented, and most only concern the environmental dimension of sustainability while neglecting other crucial dimensions, such as the social and the institutional. This cannot be enough. The aim of this call is to contribute along this direction. This poses new critical issues for decision makers and policymakers, toward an integrated understanding of sustainability–innovation–quality management. To formulate effective answers, an interdisciplinary approach is required. We welcome submissions from a variety of disciplines and perspectives, using different methodological approaches. We also encourage submissions that can craft an interdisciplinary conversation with further socio-cultural approaches to sustainability, quality, and innovation. Therefore, we hope to stimulate research and advances both at theoretical and practical/empirical levels to topics including but not limited to the following:

  • The role of institutional context in incentivizing or discouraging sustainable innovation;
  • Approaches to frame the interplay among quality, sustainability, and innovation;
  • Barriers and facilitators dealing with business models centered on quality-driven sustainable innovation;
  • The role of quality management in fostering individual and collective sustainability;
  • Sustainable innovation: cross-country/cross-industry comparative analysis;
  • Sustainable innovation and resilience of social-ecological systems (SESs);
  • Sustainable innovation and corporate governance;
  • Sustainable innovation and quality management along society, economy, and environment;
  • Sustainable innovation in the metaverse.

Dr. Maria Vincenza Ciasullo
Dr. Antonio La Sala
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • quality management
  • sustainability
  • sustainable innovation

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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