Towards Understanding of the Role of Collective Action in Sustainable Development within a Chinese Organization

Sustainable development is one of the top priority agendas of government and businesses today. The call for action is clear but yet many business leaders are still struggling to understand why and how they can make their businesses environmentally sustainable. Much of the literature of sustainability evolves around answering the 'why' questions and in relative the 'how' questions are given lesser attention. In addition, there is a dearth of empirical study in sustainability from the IS perspective. These are reasons that motivate this study. Drawing upon the theoretical lens of collective action on institutional change, this paper seeks to understand the role of collective action towards sustainable development in a Chinese organization. The paper also aims to uncover the role of IT in nurturing collective action. We advocate contextualizing our study within a Chinese context because we believe the collective action in Chinese context will be remarkably different from Western context. We posit that our proposed study has significant potential to contribute to the extant literature on collective action and sustainability. A case method is proposed as the ideal method and China Mobile is proposed as the ideal case candidate for this study.