All-Salt

This is one part of a joint Art & Research entry. See the corresponding research piece here. In the spirit of cure-alls and tonics of a less-regulated medical era, Alviso’s Medicinal All-Salt harvests the bounty of a unique yet-unregulated pharmaceutical disposal industry, combining two popular commodities, sea salt and recycled pharmaceuticals, to produce a mock-medicinal salt product: "All-Salt." There are no laws that require industry or government to test, monitor, or control the levels of pharmaceutical content in water, or understand impacts on humans and the environment.

The Alviso’s Medicinal All-Salt project involved rigorous research and synthesis of available environmental water quality and wastewater treatment information, and then humorous presentation of that material so as to engage a general audience on water quality/wastewater issues. It was completed in September, 2010 in San Jose California as a part of the Zer01 San Jose new media arts festival; it involved construction of model salt-evaporation ponds, salt product samples, tours of the San Francisco Bay ‘harvesting waters’ and old industrial salt ponds, and production of a formal report on the drugs found in the South San Francisco Bay.

The project spurred dialogue and debate, especially after receiving press coverage by a wide range of interests: local news, environmental, scientific and technical, and arts and crafts community publications and online forums. The level and diversity of public engagement was significant, granted the notoriously un-sexy target: sewage. Feedback on the project, both direct to the artists and through various online forums, ranged from shock and disbelief to inspired political testimonials and even outrage. It proved to be a unique experiment and case study in creative non-traditional forms of environmental communications and for inspiring engagement on important environmental and human health issues through absurdity, humor, and DIY fun. Find out more at http://www.all-salt.com and video at http://all-salt.com/promo-video.

[aslideshow] Promotional Shot 1 Promotional Shot 2 The Expedition Begins Sample Collection 1 Sample Collection 2 Wastewater Treatment Evaporation [/aslideshow]

 

Contributors' Biographies:

Morgan Levy is a graduate student in UC Berkeley’s Energy & Resources Group, researching interdisciplinary water resources issues particular to California and the American West. She recently returned from a Fulbright Fellowship in Environmental Studies – Water Management in The Netherlands, where she interviewed farmers about agricultural water use.

Jon Cohrs is a recording engineer and visual artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Often employing humor and absurdity, his work uses public engagement and site-specific interventions to address global issues. Currently, he is a fellow at Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, and also teaches at Parson, The New School for Design.

I Am

Up Scenic Point

I thank the rocks

And the plants

And the animals

For being part of me

As I am part of them

--

Not from each other

We are each other

As we human beings

Are all one another

--

We are sacred

Each particle of mass

Even the air (we breathe)

--

I am not a visitor here

On this earth (though I like the idea

at times)

I am

The earth itself

And everything in it

I am

The fires in august

That blow through this valley

I am

The wind from the cliffs

Scouring down over the lakefront

I am

The raven fledglings

Perching still on the edge of my nest

I am

The earth itself

And everything in it

--

Not a keeper

Not a visitor

Certainly not

A master

--

But the very spice of it

The gritty grime of it

The rocks and mud and plants

My body smells of it

It grows out of me

I grow into it

We are here

Together here

--

By listening

We can know this

Contributor's Biography:

Amy Pearson is a Ph.D. student in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication.  Her research explores the ecological implications of the ways we talk about wilderness areas, especially in National Parks.

In this piece I situate myself as a human being in equal relation to my "ecological" surroundings.  I am convinced that a primary means of creating a sustainable Earth might come through re-envisioning and rearticulating how we as human beings sit in relation to our ecological environment.  The photograph is from Glacier National Park in Montana where I spend my summers as a ranger naturalist.

The Kerala Model of Development: A Path to Sustainability

The Indian state of Kerala has developed in a unique way over the last century.  A socialist state government promoted education and ecological conservation before these issues were common place among other Indian states.  These policies have resulted in a state where (1) a majority of the citizens are multilingual; (2) where the infant death rate is lower than that of the United States; (3) where the average life expectancy is equal to that of most first world nations; and (4) where ecological conservation is practiced, fostered from an understanding of the interconnectedness between society and the natural world.

Click below photo for slideshow. [aslideshow] [/aslideshow] Contributor's Biography:

Ben Warner uses photography in an attempt to inform audiences on a particular subject; typically individual frames are taken and arranged to provide viewers insight into a particular theme or argument.

Letter from the Editor

Dear Readers, Welcome to the first issue of The Sustainability Review, an online, biannual publication hosting art, opinion and research contributions.  TSR is associated with Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability, but is open to participation and contribution from people across and outside of academia.  TSR has two overarching goals: to communicate the concepts, challenges and approaches of sustainability, sustainability science and sustainable thinking, and to engage people from all fields in discussions about sustainability topics through accessible and interesting writing and other communication forms, such as photography.  At the very least, the editors of this inaugural issue hope to contribute to and help shape sustainability discussions.

TSR publishes contributions explaining complex concepts and issues in an accessible and engaging way.  It also seeks to involve people who might be shut out from typical sustainability discourse, particularly in academic settings.  TSR provides a forum for a spectrum of views on sustainability - from sustainable enterprise to community building and environmental justice concerns. The first issue includes research, essays and art pieces demonstrating a wide range of sustainability thought.  It includes perspectives on academic innovation with ASU leading the way from ASU President Michael Crow (American Research Universities Must Lead Our Emergence From the Stone Age), PepsiCo's water conservation and waste management initiatives in India (Environmental Management of Multinational Corporations in India: The Case of PepsiCo), and various consumption practices and consequences (Rio Salado Walk; Consuming the Land; Commingled Sorting Facility; Too Much of a Good Thing: The Relationship Between Money and Happiness in a Post-Industrial Society).  It highlights questions such as, How do we measure the value of different species and ecosystems (The Services of the Praying Mantis)?  What does building knowledge for sustainability mean in the context of higher learning institutions (Students’ Perspective on Building Knowledge for Sustainability)?

The TSR editors recognize that professionals, policymakers, activists and the general public do not generally read peer-reviewed scientific journals, but this is precisely the audience that needs to be reached in order to move towards sustainable societies. Hopefully, TSR will contribute to a more scientifically literate and socially and environmentally responsible public, and possibly even spur some well-informed individuals to advance societal changes.

People often remark that it is peculiar that the School of Sustainability is located in a sprawling desert metropolis.  Isn’t it absurd, they ask, to focus on sustainability in a place that requires enormous amounts of resources and effort to exist? Indeed, like so many places in this world, the Phoenix metro area’s current structure is, in many ways, antithetical to sustainable lifestyles: the Valley of the Sun's resource constraints and vulnerabilities just happen to be all the more palpable.  This is, then, an important place to learn, discuss, and start making real changes towards sustainability.

Maren Mahoney

Editor-in-Chief

Editors for the Spring 2010 issue:

Sandra Rodegher, Arts Editor

Haley Paul, Opinion Editor

Robert Horner, Research Editor

RJ Meyers, Web Editor

Faculty adviser: Dr. Dan Childers

Acknowledgments:

The list of people to thank is long and likely incomplete.  The collaborative nature of this publication process, however, exemplifies the transdisciplinary effort required to create such a publication.  The list is alphabetized because everyone’s assistance was crucial to TSR’s creation.

We would like to give extra special thanks to the people who helped with the web publishing process.  Teresa Aguilera, a professional graphic designer, and Evan Taylor, an IT professional and SOS undergraduate, both provided extensive, pro bono help.  We would also like to give a special thanks to the School of Sustainability communication office, particularly Karen Leland, Vince Palermo and Bryan Barker.

Thank you:

Teresa Aguilera

Braden Allenby

Andrea Baty

Bryan Barker

Dr. Christopher Boone

Edgar Cardenas

Dr. Dan Childers

Dr. Michael M. Crow

Laura Digan

Dr. Hallie Eakin

Ben Funke

Zachary Hughes

David Iwaniec

Dr. Susan Ledlow

Karen Leland

Leonard Machler

Liz Marquez

Thad Miller

Lisa Murphy

Vincent Palermo

Dr. Charles Redman

Susan Schmidt

Evan Taylor

Dr. Arnim Wiek

Also, special thanks to our contributors:

Jeffrey Ackley

Julie Anand, MFA

Kristen Faye Bean, MSW

Gaea Bailey

Manjyot Bhan

Kyle Boggs

Dr. Michael Crow

Heather Findling

Justin Freiberg

Neal Humphrey

Ben Miller

Thaddeus R. Miller

Tischa A. Muñoz-Erickson

Bradford Pete-Hill

John M. Quick

Alison Dalton Smith

Lauren Strohacker

Adam Thorman

Ben Warner

Material Histories: Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area, 16th Street [1/4 square mile] Phoenix, Arizona + Brush Creek Road [2 miles] Snowmass Village, Colorado

This project takes as assumption that every space and every thing is connected on all sides to the whole rest of the world.

These pictures record events of exploring public space on foot. Each walk becomes a collection of objects gathered from a particular explored place. As a walker-gatherer, I am childlike, measuring value in curiosity and storing it in a shoebox under the bed. I am like a bowerbird, seduced by a brightly colored speck and the glint in the corner of an eye. I am also street sweeper, curator, naturalist, and anthropologist of my own culture and time on these walks.

Each image is a subjective and arbitrary sample of an accumulated surface up to the collecting event. Multiple histories are invoked— the gathering walk, the implied stories of how each thing came to be there, and the history of the representation and study of land. I arrange the objects as if a strong wind blew through a natural history museum display case. Things float in the void like the wild energies they rode in on—having fallen out of private ownership, public systems of recovery, or nutrient cycles, landing first on public land and then into my hands. Artifacts and engineered materials intertwine and mingle with natural resources. Stripped of their context for careful observation, the objects refer back to the places and inhabitants from which they came, becoming social and environmental mirrors.

Top photograph:

Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area, 16th Street [1/4 square mile]

Phoenix, Arizona

44" x 156"

Archival inkjet print on bamboo paper

2009

Bottom photograph:

Brush Creek Road [2 miles]

Snowmass Village, CO

24" x 35"

Archival inkjet print on bamboo paper

2004/2009

Contributor's Biography:

Julie Anand is Assistant Professor and Area Coordinator for Photography at Arizona State University. These works from her ongoing Material Histories investigations were part of the Defining Sustainability suite of exhibitions at the ASU Art Museum Fall 2009. She received her Master's of Fine Arts degree from the University of New Mexico. An interdisciplinary thinker and desert lover, she studied Ecology and Evolutionary Biology as an undergraduate before becoming smitten with photography. Having replaced the burden of proof with the celebration of subjectivity, her mixed-media and photographic artworks draw on the ecological principle of interdependency. Her work questions conventional boundaries including those between science and art, between artistic disciplines, and between the body and its environment. Her work often uses history-rich materials like wood, soil, and water to speak to the unity of things through the cycles of matter.

Electric Utilities Could Determine the Success of the Renewable Energy Industry

The renewable energy industry, through its innovation, enthusiasm, and ingenuity, has the potential to transform the nation’s energy landscape from a carbon dioxide-emitting giant to a climate impact mitigating, efficient, and modern generator of electricity. However, without engaging electric utilities, the industry may have difficulty expanding and thriving in a market dominated by fossil fuel generation. The renewable energy industry should form a mutually beneficial partnership with electric utility companies in order to increase its presence and share within the energy market. The importance of creating and maintaining this collaboration not only impacts the energy industry and market, but the living standards of future generations as well.

Students’ Perspective on Building Knowledge for Sustainability*

Building knowledge for sustainability demands exposure to such academic backgrounds, and much more. The School of Sustainability has brought in students and faculty from completely different fields, such as anthropology, ecology, economics, engineering, geography, geology, and the humanities, to engage with each other and sustainability. This unique blend of personnel has a profound effect on the way we work across academic disciplines and approach real-world issues.

Do Workers with Disabilities Help Sustain the Economy Through a Downturn?

By Kristen Faye Bean, MSW Although many sustainability concerns concentrate on environmental issues, the United States’ (U.S.) economic downturn that began in December 2007 highlights issues of economic sustainability. The entire U.S. economy is struggling to sustain the power that it has upheld in the world economy. Businesses worry about maintaining profits with minimal costs, and employees are concerned about job sustainability. Employers have begun to focus on aspects of their business that are more robust to economic downturn. The layoffs since December 2007 have been distributed among many different industries; the third quarter of 2009 showed that manufacturing firms, construction, professional and technical services, and management of companies and enterprises had experienced mass layoffs (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2009). Because of the relatively equal distribution of layoffs, it is unclear what types of employees businesses are relying on to sustain profits with minimal costs.  This paper explores whether employees with disabilities are an integral labor market for businesses during weak economic periods.

The economic theory of inferior goods explains that in order to save money, consumers purchase cheaper goods more often, and businesses employ cheaper labor with fewer benefits (Krugman & Wells, 2005). This theory predicts that low wage workers provide sustainable labor sources for businesses during an economic downturn.

People with disabilities tend to be stable, low- wage workers in the U.S. These people usually have income from supplemental security income (SSI) payments and health insurance from Medicaid. Therefore, they often work low-wage jobs that are temporary contracts, piece rate, and without other benefits such as health insurance. In order to maintain their SSI payments and Medicaid, people with disabilities must not earn more than the Substantial Gainful Activity—a federal cap on monthly income for those enrolled in the SSI program. The Substantial Gainful Activity in 2010 for a blind, disabled person is $1640 USD and for a non-blind, disabled person it is $1000 USD. (Social Security Administration, 2009). People with disabilities provide a stable, low- wage worker population due to their desire to maintain their federal disability benefits.

Little is known about how changes in the U.S. economy impact the labor market for people with disabilities. People with disabilities have increasingly joined the labor market in the last few decades since the deinstitutionalization in the 1970s of many people with physical and mental disabilities. The most recent financial depression has been the first significant economic crisis testing this labor market since the deinstitutionalization movement, thus providing an opportunity to analyze the stability and economic impacts of this particular labor market during an economic downturn.

The one-year estimates from the American Community Survey (ACS) of 2007 and 2008 were used to evaluate whether or not people with disabilities sustained employment after the economic downturn hit in December 2007. The ACS is an annual government-funded survey of a random sample of the U.S. population. Among other information, the ACS collects data on the incomes of people with and without disabilities. As previously noted, the theory of inferior goods predicts that people with disabilities would be employed more during a weak economy. The following research questions were statistically tested to assess the levels of employment of people with disabilities during the current economic downturn:

  • Was the income of people with disabilities in 2007 less than the income of people with disabilities in 2008?
  • Does the income gap between people with and without disabilities decrease between 2007 and 2008?

The ACS data was collected and combined between January and December of each year. The ACS defines disability as "the restriction in participation that results from a lack of fit between the individual’s functional limitations and the characteristics of the physical and social environment." The 2007 survey asked participants if they experienced the following disabilities: sensory, physical, cognitive, or self-care disabilities. The 2008 survey asked participants if they experienced hearing, vision, cognitive, ambulatory, and self-care disabilities. The measure used in this study separated participants into groups of people experiencing any disability and people not experiencing a disability. Income status was defined equally in the 2007 and 2008 ACS surveys. Income was defined by wage income, which was "total money earnings received for work performed as an employee during the past 12 months." The wage income is separate from other sources of income, such as SSI payments. A change in wage income would reflect a change in income based on employment.

All participants were divided into one of two categories: disability or no disability. Participants self-reported income as the amount of money that they made by work in the past 12 months. The total sample of 123,060 participants in 2007 and 2008 were aged 15 and older. The sample did not include institutionalized people with and without disabilities in the U.S.

Data Analysis

Data were analyzed using the statistical software, SPSS 18.0 (SPSS, 2009). Independent samples t-tests, which are used to analyze whether or not the average of two different groups are different, were conducted to test the hypotheses. Raw data were used to assess the equivalency of average income among people with and without disabilities. The wage gap between people with and without disabilities in 2007 and 2008 was calculated by finding the difference between the income of each person with and without a disability. Because of many missing data points on income, the missing data of wage gaps were imputed statistically using series mean, which replaces the missing values with the wage gap sample mean. The equivalency of means of the two new samples of wage gap in 2007 and wage gap in 2008 were used to perform an independent samples t-test.

Results

The mean wage of people with disabilities was $7,510 in 2007 and $8,340 in 2008. The independent samples t-test determined that there was a significant difference between the wage of people with disabilities in 2007 and 2008. On average, incomes of people with disabilities increased by $830 between 2007 and 2008. Even though an $830 wage raise might seem like a minute increase, it would be a substantial increase for a person that might be working a part-time, temporary, or piece rate job. An independent samples t-test was conducted on the mean wage of people without disabilities in 2007 and 2008 in order to see if this increase in income in 2008 was unique to people with disabilities. The mean wage of people without disabilities was $27,073 in 2007 and $27,412 in 2008. There was a significant difference between the income of people without disabilities between 2007 and 2008. On average, incomes of people without disabilities increased by $339 between 2007 and 2008.  On average, the ACS data shows that people with disabilities’ income increased by $500 more than that of people without disabilities between 2007 and 2008.

The data on income of people with and without disabilities shows that the income of people with disabilities increased significantly more in 2008 than people without disabilities’ income. The independent samples t-test determined that there was a significant decrease in the income gap of people with and without disabilities between 2007 and 2008.

Discussion

People with disabilities have increased their income from employment after the economic downturn occurred. The decrease in the income gap between people with and without disabilities showed that people without disabilities did not experience a significant income gain from employment, while people with disabilities did experience a significant income gain from employment during the weak economy. This study shows that people with disabilities have had more stable employment in an economic downturn than people without disabilities.

The increase in wage income of people with disabilities implies that they have received new employment opportunities to increase their income. People with disabilities benefit employers during an economic downturn by contributing to the labor market as stable, low-income employees who do not need additional benefits. People with disabilities can provide sustained low-wage employment during a weak economy, but the future will show if employers will maintain the increased employment opportunities for people with disabilities during a strong economy. Future research should explore where people with disabilities are employed in the economic downturn in order to find out which industries are benefitting from the employment of people with disabilities.

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2009). Extended mass layoffs- third quarter summary.  Economic News Release. Retrieved on January 12, 2009 at: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/mslo.nr0.htm

Krugman, P. & Wells, R. (2005). Microeconomics. New York, NY: Worth Publishers.

Nichols, M. (2008). People with disabilities in the U.S. labor market. Citizen Economists. Retrieved on November 15, 2009 at: http://www.citizeneconomists.com/blogs/2008/09/03/people-with-disabilities-in-the-us-labor-market/

Pagan, R. (2006). Is part-time work a good or bad opportunity for people with disabilities? A European analysis. Disability and Rehabilitation, 29(24), 1910-1919.

Rigg, J. (2005). Labour market disadvantage amongst disabled people: a longitudinal perspective. Centre for Analysis of Exclusion, LSE, CASE Papers.

Social Security Administration. (2009). Substantial Gainful Activity. Automatic Increases. Retrieved on January 12, 2009 at: http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/sga.html

SPSS, Inc. (2009). SPSS 18.0 [computer software]. Chicago: Author.

Contributor's Biography:

Kristen Bean is a PhD student at the School of Social Work at Arizona State University. She received her Masters of Social Service Administration and Certification of Health Administration and Policy from University of Chicago. Kristen Bean researches physical, developmental, and mental disabilities. Kristen Bean is currently a research assistant at the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center.

Memory of Water: The Salt River Project

The Salt River Project follows the Salt River from the recreation areas East of Phoenix out to the Gillespie Dam West of Phoenix. It is the story of an urban desert river. The project begins with the conceptual framework provided by high water marks. Clumps of dirt, plastic bags and plant growth five feet up in trees serve as a reminder that the dry riverbed is not dead, but only dormant. Too often in the desert, water concerns orbit around the idea that we're using up all our resources and that the dryness is a sign of the dismal future. Though transient communities have made the river channel home, and others use it as a dumping ground, sooner or later the water will rise again. Everything found in the channel is colored with this knowledge.

In exploring the Salt River bed and banks, the garbage becomes remnants and artifacts. [aslideshow] Eroded Riverbank. Phon D. Sutton Recreation Area east of Granite Reef Dam.

High Water Mark. Below the 101/202 interchange where Mesa, Tempe, and the Reservation meet.

Transient's Tent. Below the 101/202 interchange where Mesa, Tempe, and the Reservation meet.

Faded Memories. Below the 101/202 interchange where Mesa, Tempe, and the Reservation meet.

Post Flood Detritus. Salt River at Central Avenue in Phoenix.

Plastic Bag High Water Mark. Salt River at Central Avenue in Phoenix.

Dry River Bed. Salt River at 7th Ave in Phoenix.

Thirst Buster. Salt River at 7th Ave in Phoenix.

El Mirage Flooding. Salt River at El Mirage Rd west of Phoenix.

Gillespie Dam Blown Out By Flooding. Gillespie Dam."

Fish Stranded After Flooding. Gillespie Dam.

[/aslideshow]

I am an archaeologist attempting to piece together the meaning of each pile of trash dumped and beer can left behind. Who, why, when? People have left marks of recreation, as well. Fire pits, beer cans, and fishing wire. Good times gone, more than just footprints left behind.

I become sensitive to the difference between different kinds of dry. The dry of the surrounding desert contrasted against the dry of the riverbed, which is filled with the memory of water.

This project is part of the Phoenix Transect Project at Arizona State University.

The project can be seen in its entirety at http://www.adamthorman.com/saltriverproject.html as well.

Contributor's Biography:

Adam Thorman was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He received his BFA in Photography from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University in 2003 and his MFA from Arizona State University in 2009. His work has been exhibited nationally. He currently splits his time between Berkeley, CA and Prescott, AZ where he teaches photography at Prescott College.

President Crow: American Research Universities Must Lead Our Emergence from the Stone Age

During the past few years many of us may have confronted the disturbing realization that the standard operating procedures of our contemporary culture often fall short of the mark or even produce entirely unintended consequences.

Too Much of a Good Thing: The Relationship between Money and Happiness in a Post-Industrial Society

By Alison Dalton Smith Happiness is considered a universal human aspiration, but the means to achieving happiness has become inexorably entangled with gaining material possessions.  In common paradigms of economic development, Gross Domestic Product is used as a proxy for measuring the well-being of a nation’s citizens.  While this is often true in impoverished nations where basic needs are not met, there is a threshold point past which increasing economic gains no longer necessarily deliver increases in human well-being.  Beyond this threshold, economic measures are no longer adequate for accurate measurement of a nation’s human well-being. In fact, this myopic focus on economic growth has created an unsustainable way of life that is increasingly unfulfilling for those that are engaged in the cycles of consumption.  In this paper, I will address both recent patterns in human well-being in industrialized nations and more comprehensive indexes that quantify human well-being.

Sustainability is the interaction of three aspects of life: environmental, economic, and social. Citizens and researchers alike accept there are causal effects of increasing economic activity and resulting environmental degradation. The link between the social aspect of life and economic activity was long thought to be a positive one;  I contend that this assumption only holds up to a certain point.  I will not try to pinpoint the threshold in this paper, but will only bring together different sources of information to show that increasing economic growth does not bring positive social returns in all cases.  The growth of literature on this topic began with psychology and has recently been developed by economists.  I will explain the terminology used and data sources in the first part of the paper, examine the data trends in the next part, and finally make recommendations for how we can address the issues presented in the paper.

The concepts of happiness, well-being, and life satisfaction have been used interchangeably in the literature addressing connections between economic growth and social returns, although recent studies show that there are significant differences between happiness and life satisfaction (Veenhoven, 1991; Diener & Biswas-Diener, 2002). Peggy Schyns (1998) found the correlation between life satisfaction and happiness to be .90, which supports this interchangeable use.  However, as quality of life studies have progressed, some researchers have begun to separate the two.  Happiness has been defined as affective (influenced or resulting from emotion), and life satisfaction as cognitive (the process of thought) (Diener, 2004).  Happiness research has generally been based on surveys that ask just one question.  Subjective well-being (SWB) is a term often used to indicate a more comprehensive approach to life satisfaction that incorporates happiness and other judgments of the overall quality of life (Hoorn & André, 2007).

The national accounts of well-being, created by the New Economic Foundation, is a completely different approach to well-being assessment.  People are asked not one, but 50 questions about well-being from personal and social aspects of their lives.  This approach is especially important because it can be used across socio-political scales, from tribal to national levels. (New Economics Foundation, 2009).

Amartya Sen’s capabilities approach is another atypical approach to human well-being assessment.  This approach, developed in the 1980s, is different from the data analysis approach. The freedoms of individuals are the building blocks and, "attention is thus paid particularly to the expansion of the ‘capabilities’ of persons to lead the kind of lives they value and have reason to value," (Sen, 1999, p. 18).  The benefit of using this paradigm is that it can be applied across values systems, cultures, languages, and scales because it allows the user to define the values intrinsic to the evaluation (Sen, 1999).

Richard Easterlin challenged the perception that economic growth would lead to increases in happiness in his seminal paper, Does Economic Growth Improve the Human Lot? (1974). The findings of his paper are known as the Easterlin Paradox.  He made three conclusions that led to debate and research for the next thirty years.  The first was that people with higher incomes are happier than those with lower incomes within the same country. He claims causality from these findings from income to happiness (Easterlin, 1974).

Second, he concludes that his findings for individuals does not hold up for countries; "…if there is a positive association among countries between income and happiness it is not very clear," Easterlin, 108, 1974).  His third conclusion is that as a country’s GNP increases, its population does not get happier.  He only has data from the United States, as there were no other countries with time-series data on this issue.  These last two findings have not held up over time. In-depth analysis on this topic can be found in Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox (Stevensen & Wolfers, 2008) and Subjective Well-Being: Three Decades of Progress (Diener, Suh, Lucas, & Smith, 1999).

Easterlin’s first finding that rich people tend to be much happier than poor people was corroborated by subsequent research (Diener & Biswas-Diener, 2002).  While rich people tend to be happier, this is only part of the picture.  Rich people do not get any happier with more money (Scitovsky, 1992). In fact, from 1946- 1970, per capita real income rose by 62 per cent in the US, but reported happiness did not change substantially (Scitovsky, 1992).  In the rest of the paper, I will address this occurrence.

Between 1946 and 1996, per-capita real income rose by a factor of 2.5, but average happiness has remained the same (Frey & Stutzer, 2002). Figure 1 shows a perplexing trend that has occurred in the United States.  Since the mid-1960s, the percentage of very happy people in the United States has actually decreased slightly while GDP per capita has skyrocketed. Figure 2 shows that a similar trend has occurred in Japan.

income_and_happiness

satisfaction

Figure 3 shows cross-national data of a nation’s GDP per capita and SWB Index.  From the graph, we can see that GDP is not the most significant determinant of a country’s SWB.  Countries with similar cultural patterns and political states tend to cluster together.  While high SWB does not rely solely on high per capita GDP (there are both rich and poor countries with high SWB), it does appear true that low SWB does not occur in countries with high per capita GDP. In countries where large numbers of the population are extremely poor, people have too little to eat, or are homeless, happiness measures do increase when everyone’s income rises (Frank, 2007).

"]Figure 3: GDP per capita vs. Subjective Well-Being for the Different Societies (Inglehart, R. Foa, C. Peterson & C. Welzel (2008).)[A1]In developed countries, Richard Layard found a peculiar occurrence: as people gained more income, their perceived income requirement rose.  People base their satisfaction on their current income based on what they have and what they want to have.  As the gap between their wants and needs widen, their current incomes become insufficient.  Because of this phenomenon, Layard concludes, it is difficult for economic growth to improve happiness (Layard, 2005).

Ruut Veenhoven suggests that wealth is subject to the law of diminishing returns after a country surpasses industrialization (Veenhoven, 1991).  This finding was repeated in Ed Denier’s international study.  He showed that happiness rose sharply as GDP per capita increased when GDP was at a basic subsistence level, but after a nation industrialized, happiness rose at a slower rate (Diener & Biswas-Diener, 2002).

In addition to the diminishing returns on income, people tend to adapt to their circumstances, thereby negating the gains in happiness that they initially experienced (Myers, 2000). Figure 4 shows how people adapt to an increase in income and form new aspirations based on their income level.  An increase in income brings about a downward shift in the aspiration curve, which neutralizes increases in happiness (Frey & Stutzer, 2002). This may lead one to believe that any policy aimed to improved people’s happiness is futile. However, Brickman and Campbell contrarily show that after people experience an initial uptick in their happiness due to life circumstances, they do not go all the way back to a point of neutrality, but to a point slightly higher than they were before (Brickman & Campbell, 1971).

Figure 4: Happiness and Aspiration Shifts (Frey & Stutzer, 2002)

The following explains the scenario above:

"Initially, people have a certain aspiration level A1 so that income Y1 produces happiness H1. Raising income, say from Y1 to Y2, raises happiness from H1 to H2… However, over time, aspiration adjusts to the higher income level.  The aspiration level curve A1 shifts downward to Am. Ex post, the rise in income from Y1 to Y2 does not produce any increase in happiness…" (Frey & Stutzer, 2002).

Income inequality within a society can lead to unhappiness through failure to meet aspirations.  Juliet Schor noted that in the late 1980’s income inequality grew and people were feeling deprived in comparison to those at the top.  Even people who made $100,000 a year felt poor because they were comparing themselves to the nuevo riche of the day (Schor J. , 1998).

Other factors have also contributed to stagnation or decrease in overall happiness in developed countries.  Both men and women have increased their working hours since the 1950s.  From 1969 - 1987 women have increased their hours yearly by 305 hours and men's hours have increased by 98.  In addition, Americans are working more overtime, and paid time off has been decreasing since the 1980s (Schor J. B., 1991).  The time spent to get to these jobs has also increased.  Commuting is often a solitary and stress-inducing activity (Baker, 2004).

Perhaps the strongest explanation to the paradox of money and happiness lies in how GDP is calculated. GDP analysis shows that the United States has gotten much wealthier as a whole over the past thirty years.  However, by aggregating incomes across classes, GDP masks income distribution.  At the same time that happiness began to stagnate in the US, so did real household wages among the working classes.  Figures 5 and 6 show that prior to 1979 all income brackets were growing relativly equally, but since the 1980s incomes at the top have increased incredibly, while the bottom and middle classes have seen much lower growth rates.   So, while GDP steadily increased, most Americans were not getting significantly richer.

Figure 5: Changes in before-tax household incomes, 1949-1979 (Frank, 2007)

Figure 6: Changes in before-tax incomes, 1979-2003 (Frank, 2007)

Indexes other than GDP may be more suited to capturing life as most humans experience it. Below I will briefly describe a few alternative indicators: the General Progress Indicator, the Happy Planet Index, and the National Accounts of Well-Being.  I have intentionally left out the much-cited Human Development Index.  While the index does indeed provide another perspective on development progress, it uses GDP as an indicator, which does not get us to a new paradigm of progress or development.

Each of these indicators has been accused of being biased towards one policy agenda or another--that they each incorporate value judgments.  Cobb, Halstead, and Rowe point out in If the GDP is up, Why is America so Down? that GDP is also not value-free; in fact, it values the social and environmental aspects of life at zero. It also fails to differentiate between money spent on negative circumstances--such as the revenue from a divorce and the cleanup and restoration efforts after a natural disaster--and money spent positive events (Cobb, Halstead, & Rowe, 1995).

The General Progress Indicator begins with personal consumption expenditures, weighted by an index of inequality in the distribution of income.  Additions to production are made for non-market benefits associated with volunteer work, housework, parenting, and other socially productive efforts as well as services from both household capital and public infrastructure (Talberth, Cobb, & Slattery, 2007).

The Happy Planet Index (HPI) is another more comprehensive index.  It focuses more on the ecological cost of development.  The indicators used are ecological footprint, life-satisfaction and life expectancy (New Economics Foundation, 2009).  The HPI was created by the same organization responsible for the National Accounts of Well-Being and can be used a policy tools in tandem with them.

Development directly affects human well-being. Studies have shown that increasing wealth, whether measured in income growth, GDP, or GDP per capita, does lead to increases in well-being when basic needs are not met.  However, that link has led our policy makers, politicians, and academics to ignore an equally obvious occurrence that after a threshold point in industrial development, that relationship no longer holds up; increasing wealth then has diminishing returns to human well-being.

An increasing awareness of a growing global environmental crisis has prompted worldwide movements to change destructive behaviors. However, the idea of "cutting back" is often falsely associated with reducing one’s happiness or well-being.   Human well-being is at the forefront of development policy and incredibly important to governments around the world, as shown by the Millennium Development Goals.   Development policies need to expand to address the whole spectrum of development—both in developed and developing nations.  By recognizing that increased consumption may not increase human well-being in developed nations, policies may be designed that not only benefit people, but reduce their impact on the planet that sustains them.

References

Baker, D. (2004). Reassessing the consumer price index. In E. N. Wolff, What Has Happened to the Quality of Life in the Advanced Industrialized Nations? (pp. 81-120). Northhampton : Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.

Bergh, J. C. (2009). The GDP paradox. Journal of Economic Psychology , 30 (2), 117 - 135.

Brickman, P., & Campbell, D. (1971). Hedonic relativism and planning the good society. Adaptation-level Theory , 287-305.

Cobb, C., Halstead, T., & Rowe, a. J. (1995, October). If the GDP is up, why is America so down? The Atlantic Monthly .

Davis, J. A., Smith, T. W., & and Marsden, P. V. (2009). Questions. Retrieved 12 9, 2009, from General Social Survey: http://www.norc.org/GSS/Templates/BaseTemplate.aspx?NRMODE=Published&NRNODEGUID={2E75FB22-4D36-474F-AA28-97D9A2C04B6C}&NRORIGINALURL=/GSS%2bWebsite/FAQs/&NRCACHEHINT=NoModifyGuest#17

Diener, E. (2004). Assessing Subjective Well-Being. Social Indicators Research , 31 (2), 103-157.

Diener, E., & Biswas-Diener, R. (2002). Will Money Increase Subjective Well-Being? Social Indicators Research , 57, 199-169.

Diener, E., Suh, E. M., Lucas, R. E., & Smith, H. L. (1999). Subjective Well-Being: Three Decades of Progress. Psychological Bulletin , 125 (2), 276-302.

Easterlin, R. (1974). Does Economic Growth Improve the Human Lot? Some Empirical Evidence. 89-125.

Frank, R. (2007). Falling Behind: How Rising Inequality Harms the Middle Class. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Frey, B., & Stutzer, A. (2002). What Can Economists Learn From Happiness Research? Journal of Economic Literature , 40 (2), 402-435.

Gallup Inc. (2009). Questions. Retrieved 12 9, 2009, from Gallup: http://www.gallup.com/consulting/worldpoll/108070/Questions.aspx

Graaf, J. d., Wann, D., & Naylor, a. T. (2005). Affluenza. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

Greenwood, D. T. (2004). Measuring quality of life with local indicators. In E. N. Wolff, What Has Happened to the Quality of Life in the Advanced Industrialized Nations? (pp. 334-363). Northhampton: Edward Elger Publishing Limited.

Inglehart, R. Foa, C. Peterson & C. Welzel (2008). Development, Freedom and Rising Happiness: A Global Perspective 1981-2007 Perspectives on Psychological Science, 3 (4), 264- 285.

Institute for Innovation in Social Policy. (2009). The Index of Social Health. Retrieved 12 10, 2009, from Institute for Innovation in Social Policy: http://iisp.vassar.edu/ish.html

Kasser, T. (2002). The High Price of Materialism. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Lane, R. (2000). The Loss of Happiness in Market Democracies. New Haven : Yale University Press.

Latinobarometro. (2009). Data Bank. Retrieved 12 12, 2009, from Latinombarometro: http://www.latinobarometro.org/

Layard, R. (2005). Happiness: Lessons From a New Science. London: Penguin Books.

Myers, D. G. (2000). The American Paradox. New Haven: Yale University Press.

new economics foundation. (2009). calculating the hpi. Retrieved 11 15, 2009, from the happy planet index: http://www.happyplanetindex.org/learn/calculating/

new economics foundation. (2009). Explore. Retrieved 12 9, 2009, from National Accounts of Well-Being: http://nationalaccountsofwellbeing.org/explore/indicators/zwbi

new economics foundation. (2009). National Accounts of Well-Being. London: new economics foundation.

Schor, J. B. (1991). The Overworked American. New York: HarperCollins.

Schor, J. (1998). The Overspent American. New York: Basic Books.

Schyns, P. (1998). Crossnational Differences in Happiness: Economic and Cultural Factors Explored. Social Indicators Research , 43, 3-26.

Scitovsky, T. (1992). The Joyless Economy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sen, A. (1999). Development As Freedom. New York: Anchor Books.

Sieber, S. D. (2005). Second-Rate Nation. Boulder: Paradigm Publishers.

Stevensen, B., & Wolfers, J. (2008). Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox. Washington, D.C.: Brooking Papers on Economic Activity.

Talberth, D. J., Cobb, C., & Slattery, N. (2007). The Genuine Progress Indicator 2006. Oakland: Redefining Progress.

The European Commission. (2009). Eurobarometro. Retrieved 12 12, 2009, from European Commission Public Opinion Analysis: http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/index_en.htm

Veenhoven, R. (1991). Is Happiness Relative? Social Indicators Research , 24, 1-31.

Wolff, E. (2004). Recent Trend in Living Standards in the United States. In E. N. Wolff, What has happened to the Quality of Life in Advanced Industrialized Nations? (pp. 3-27). Northhampton: Edward Elger.

Contributor's Biography:

Alison Dalton Smith works in international higher education development at the University Design Consortium at ASU.  Her interest in international development results from having lived in Latin America, Asia, and Europe.  She is particularly interested in the link between consumption and standards of living.

Environmental Management of Multinational Corporations in India: The Case of PepsiCo.

By Manjyot Bhan

Abstract

Before the 1980s, environmental regulation in India was almost non-existent. In pursuit of economic development, the Government of India (GoI) kept environmental regulation of multinational corporations to a minimum in order to attract foreign direct investment. Multinational corporations have often been blamed for taking advantage of weak enforcements in India; however, in recent years, many of them have started to self-regulate and often set their environmental standards above the minimum compliances enforced by the GoI. My research will investigate the change in environmental management of PepsiCo, India—an American large food and beverage multinational corporation.

Introduction

Since 1991, India has witnessed a dramatic increase of multinational corporation activity, giving rise to tremendous economic development of the country (Emde, 1999). From provision of services to manufacturing, multinational corporations (MNCs) play a big role in almost all the economic sectors in India. Consequently, their business operations impact the physical environment of the country on a large scale. Study of the drivers that lead to a change in the environmental management of MNCs is crucial because it identifies the positive influences leading to higher environmental standards, along with the barriers or negative influences that prevent MNCs from attaining the (higher) standards they otherwise would have followed. This information can have implications on future environmental policies and economic reforms in the country.

In the post-industrialized era, MNCs in the developing world are changing their environmental management in the context of various internal and external drivers. These changes often lead to an introduction of new strategies, systems, and practices across the environmental management of MNCs (Moser, 2001). Using a case study of PepsiCo­—one of the largest food and beverage American multinationals in India—this paper seeks to answer the following questions:

  1. What are the drivers for changing environmental management of MNCs in India?
  2. What new strategies, systems, or practices are implemented in MNCs to change their environmental management?

Background

Before the 1980s, environmental regulation in India was almost non-existent. In pursuit of economic development, the Government of India kept enforcement of environmental compliances for Multinational Corporations (MNCs) to a minimum. Despite significant environmental policies introduced in India, such as the Water Act (1974), Air Act (1981), and Environmental Protection Act (1986), its environmental quality has continued to deteriorate (Reich & Bowonder, 1992). India’s Industrial Policy of July 1991 radically pushed for an open economy by globalization, liberalization, and privatization. The policy opened up India’s economy to foreign direct investment by providing facilities to foreign companies to invest in different fields of economic activity (Goyal, 2006). The economic policy reforms of India removed constraints for entry of MNCs into India, allowed Indian companies to form joint ventures with the foreign companies, and encouraged a free inter-country transfer of technology and labor (Goyal, 2006).  An open economy, large manpower, and a weak environmental regulatory framework reduced the cost of doing business in India as compared to other developing countries such as Brazil, Mexico, China, and Indonesia (Jain et.al, 2006). Therefore, these factors made India a preferred destination of MNC activity from developed countries.

To pursue my research questions, this paper introduces a conceptual framework for examining the environmental management of MNCs in India. Through this lens, the paper is able to identify the external as well as internal drivers that have changed/are changing in the environmental management of PepsiCo, as well as the new strategies implemented in the company to incorporate these changes.

Framework for examining the environmental management of MNCs

The paper draws from the framework within organization theory and specifically on Andrew Pettigrew’s famous work on the management of strategic change (Pettigrew, 1987).  His framework has been widely adapted to study how changes in the management of environmental and social issues by MNCs operating in less developed countries can lead to sustainable development (Moser, 2001).

Pettigrew offers a framework --consisting of three dimensions: context, content and process. He suggests that organizational change process and decision-making can be understood in terms of these three inter-linked dimensions. The context of change is concerned with how an MNC’s internal context and aspects of external environment promote or inhibit the change process.  Internal context refers to characteristics of the MNC’s internal organization: its structure, culture, and politics, and how these have shaped/continue to shape its environmental management (Moser, 2001). The external context can be sub-divided into "formal" and "informal" components.  The "formal" or institutional component of context consists of factors such as headquarter policies, host country’s (India in this case) regulatory framework, investor pressure, standard industry codes of conduct, international regulations, international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and media comment. The "informal" or socio-political component consists of factors such as brand image, risk management, competition, eco-efficiency (cost effectiveness with reduced environmental impact), and pressure from local or domestic NGOs, public, and local communities.

The content dimension of the framework refers to the economic, social and environmental impacts (both positive and negative) of current MNC practices and operations. The process dimension refers to how change within an MNC is effected over time.  The adoption of environmental management changes can also be understood in terms of the interrelated dimensions of context, content, and process.

This paper focuses on the content and context dimensions as they apply to the case study. In the context dimension, only the external aspects containing formal and informal institutions are studied.  These external aspects play the role of drivers that change the environmental management of MNCs. The content dimension is studied to direct the second research question about the implementation of new environmental strategies, systems, and practices to incorporate the changes driven or impeded by the contextual factors listed above. The parts of the framework that are discussed in the coming sections are diagrammed in Figure 1.

The PepsiCo Case Study

Company Profile:

PepsiCo, Inc. is an American Fortune 500 company headquartered in Purchase, New York. Founded in Chicago in 1965, the company spans 200 countries. It offers over 80 products worldwide, including local variations in the different countries of operation. PepsiCo owns five different food and beverage brands: Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade. A complete profile of PepsiCo’s products is presented in Figure2.Given the wide range of products under PepsiCo’s food and beverage brands, this paper narrows its evaluation to environmental management of PepsiCo’s beverage products in India.

PepsiCo entered India in 1989 by a joint venture (JV) with the Punjab-government-owned Punjab Agro Industrial Corporation (PAIC) and Voltas India Limited. In 1994, Pepsi ultimately bought out its partners, becoming a fully owned subsidiary and ending the joint venture (Kaye, 2004). The company’s beverage portfolio in India consists of carbonated and non-carbonated drinks and packaged mineral water.  The iconic beverages such as Pepsi, Mountain Dew, 7 Up, and Mirinda fall under the soft drinks (carbonated) segment. PepsiCo’s non-carbonated segment broadly consists of sports drinks (Gatorade), fruit juices (Tropicana), and hydrating beverages such as Aquafina drinking water. The group has built on its expansive beverage business to support the operations at its 43 bottling plants in India (Pepsi Foods, 2010).  As seen in figure 3, during 2007-08, the sales from non-alcoholic beverage sector made up 72% of its total sales worldwide.

PepsiCo enjoys a 13% market share of the Indian beverage industry, and over the years its presence has got bigger—especially in the carbonated drinks (soft drinks) sector.  In 2003, India was one of the top five markets for growth in the soft drinks sector. PepsiCo has invested more than $1 billion US in its Indian subsidiary (Pepsi Foods, 2010).

Environmental Issues at Pepsi Co and the Indian Regulatory Environment:

The two most contested environmental issues of PepsiCo India are the quality and quantity of water extracted for its beverages, and the resulting water pollution due to the company’s industrial residue. Another challenge faced by the company is the amount of plastic use and waste generated in bottling and packaging of its products.

1. Industrial water use

According to Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo Inc., soft-drinks and bottle water account for only 0.04% of the total industrial water usage in India (Brady, 2007). However, given the scarcity of drinking water in India, this use still has a large impact on the population that does not have access to clean drinking water. For each liter of soft-drink produced, PepsiCo uses 10 liters of water. In total, the company uses 30 million liters of ground water per year (Shiva, 2004). The company has been alleged to practice "water piracy" for exploitation of ground water resources, resulting in scarcity of drinking water for the residents of the Palakkad district in Kerala, India. A study done by the Kerala groundwater department reported that the factory extracted 366,000 liters more than the permissible limits (Down to Earth, 2007).  The company’s factory has also been known to cause water pollution by adding toxic sludge containing heavy metals such as lead and cadmium into the nearby streams (Shiva, 2006).  Under the Clean Water Act of 1974, the GoI has not set any formal standards for the industrial use of "clean" and "portable" water in their food and beverages, and neither does it have any formal regulation for non-point source of industrial pollution (Kaye, 2004). In addition, neither the Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) Act of 1954 nor the Fruit Products Order of 1955—the mandatory acts for regulating the quality of beverage contents in India—regulate pesticide content in soft drinks (CSE, 2003).

In 2003, a study led by the Center for Science and the Environment (CSE), an environmental NGO in New Delhi, nationally released reports confirming that soft drinks of Pepsi and Coca-Cola contained pesticides. The samples were found to be 24 times above the general standards finalized (but not notified) by the Bureau of Indian Standards (InfoChange, 2006). Observing an outright disregard of BIS standards, in 2005, the Drinks and Carbonated Beverages Sectional Committee of the BIS introduced higher standards. However, it is alleged that the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs may have asked the BIS to defer setting standards, since there was no significant improvement in the level of pesticides in the following batches (InfoChange, 2006).  Snowballing into a national public health scare, in 2006, seven out of 24 states in India, including government-run schools and colleges, banned both Pepsi as well as Coca Cola (Kaye, 2004).

2. Industrial plastic waste management

PepsiCo India has been criticized both by consumers and environmental NGOs for the environmental waste created by bottling their drinks. In 1994, the beverage giant experienced national antagonism over its alleged contamination of the country’s environment through the dumping of plastic waste. Indian environmentalists, along with Greenpeace’s Toxic Trade Project, investigated PepsiCo’s involvement in both production and disposal of plastic waste in India. The study found that in 1992, out of the 10,000 metric tons of plastic waste generated as well as imported by Pepsi and other companies, only 60 to 70 percent could be processed. The remaining 3,000 to 4,000 metric tons of plastic garbage was not recyclable (Leonard, 1994). India still lacks a system of closed loop recycling[1], and therefore the same problems persist today.

At the national policy level, the Ministry of Environment and Forests of India established new Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules in 2000. These rules have failed to manage waste as a cyclic process, instead treating waste as a linear system of collection and disposal and thereby creating health and environmental hazards (Gupta, 2004).  The current rules and regulations are inadequate to assess the environmental impact of waste generated at the industrial level.  At its headquarters in New York, PepsiCo has been criticized for environmental waste created by bottling a drink (water) that people can get from the tap; especially because only 24.6% of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic bottles used for soda, water, and other products are recycled in the US. As a result, PepsiCo has launched its new Eco-Fina bottle that uses 50% less plastic than its traditional Aquafina bottle. Even Coca-Cola’s Dasani brand and Nestle’s Poland Springs is known to have been steadily shrinking the weight of their PET plastic bottles (Bauerlein, 2009).

Applying the framework: Changes in the Environmental Management of PepsiCo, India

This section uses the framework described at the beginning of this paper to illuminate the changes made in the environmental management of PepsiCo India that were prompted by the environmental issues described above.  Only the content dimension and the external part of the contextual dimension of the framework are applied to this case study.

The content dimension highlights the nature of change in the environmental management of PepsiCo. It refers to the new environmental strategies, policies, or systems that PepsiCo has adopted. This dimension also reveals the underlying environmental strategy followed by the company: its central objectives, source of strategy, and the extent to which the strategy is implemented (Pettigrew, 1987).

Following the various environmental issues faced by PepsiCo, the company has made periodic changes in its environmental management. Since 2006, PepsiCo has adopted the mantra of "Performance with Purpose."  It initiated two main programs to attain environmental sustainability: Replenishing Water and Waste to Wealth.

The Replenishing Water program addresses the problem of water quality and ground water depletion by introducing the concept of a positive water balance. The programs adopted under this umbrella at the community level are: In-Plant Water Recharge and Harvesting and Zero -Water Discharge. As a part of the overall program, PepsiCo has partnered with TERI--a scientific research organization in New Delhi--to enhance and rejuvenate local water bodies in the states of Karnataka and Uttaranchal. The Replenishing Water program has achieved a current recharge rate of 300 million liters of water every year. To provide safe water and sanitation for communities in developing countries, the PepsiCo has partnered with Water Partners[2] and the Safe Water Network[3] to improve rural water in India.  Figures 4 and 5 show the improvement of water efficiency and reduction of water consumption for manufacturing at PepsiCo worldwide in 2007-08 and in India from 2006 to the year 2009, respectively.

Part of the Waste to Wealth program is directed towards reducing material waste through sustainable packaging and recycling of waste generated at its bottling plants. PepsiCo now uses "light -weighting" in its packaging which is cost-effective, generates less waste, and reduces the amount of energy and raw materials, such as plastic, that are used.  In the United States, PepsiCo has launched half-liter bottles of Lipton iced tea, Tropicana juice drinks, and Aquafina Alive that contain 20% less plastic than their original packaging.  This reduction has saved PepsiCo more than 50 million pounds of plastic annually. The Pepsi-Cola bottles are made up of 10% recycled plastic, and rank among the most recycled packages made since 1990. Many innovations in terms of packaging reduction and resource conservation have been implemented at PepsiCo universally. In the India beverages, the carbonated soft drink crown lining has been converted to PVC (polyvinyl chloride)-free compound, removing resin and reducing cost (PepsiCo Inc., 2009).

The context dimension for PepsiCo refers to the drivers that led to an action–oriented change in the environmental management of the company. The external context in India motivated changes in PepsiCo’s environmental performance at a macro and national scale.  These drivers helped managers of the company to mobilize the contexts around them, and in doing so provide the rationale for change (Pettigrew, 1987).

The drivers for change at PepsiCo can be categorized as formal institutional drivers and informal socio-political drivers.  With the ground water depletion issue, PepsiCo changed its environmental management primarily due to two informal socio-political drivers: the affected local communities residing in the Palakkad district in Kerala, India and CSE—the domestic NGO from New Delhi.

In dealing with the issue of water pollution with toxic waste and pesticides, PepsiCo changed its environmental management based on a host of drivers.  The formal institutional drivers are media comment, investor pressure due to fall in sales, and the GoI regulation that established new standards for industrial water use and disposal. The informal drivers attributed to the change are protection of brand image, consumer pressure, and the pressure of domestic NGOs and environmental agencies.  For changes made in PepsiCo’s packaging, headquarter environmental policies and reports revealed by Greenpeace can be identified as the two main institutional drivers. The informal drivers for this move are: protection of brand image, rise in environmental concerns of its consumers, competition, risk management as a result of its falling shares, and attainment of eco-efficiency.

Conclusion

Using the conceptual framework explained above, this paper identifies the main drivers leading to change in environmental management in PepsiCo, India.  These key drivers have spurred reduction in the company’s water use, enhancement of water quality, and reduction of packaging waste.

The majority of the drivers fall under informal socio-political institutions rather than formal institutions such as host country regulations and policies followed at the headquarters. This shows that one of the weakest drivers causing a change in the environmental management of an MNC such as PepsiCo is the domestic regulatory standards in India. It highlights the minimum role played by the GoI in assuring a positive change in the environmental standards followed by an MNC in India. These findings show the need for greater enforcement of environmental compliances by the regulatory bodies of India.  They also emphasize the potential role of MNCs to act as change agents and collaborate with environmental NGOs and the GoI to formulate a stronger regulatory environment for India.

Appendix

 Fig.1 The Environmental Management Nexus of Multinational Corporations (Adapted from: Pettigrew 1987; Moser 2001)

Fig.2 PepsiCo’s popular food and beverages brands (Source: PepsiCo Corporate Sustainability Report 2007-2008)

Fig.3 Higher percentage sale of water and beverage products as compared to food and snacks at PepsiCo out of $75 billion for 2007-08

Fig.4 Overall Water Efficiency Improvement at PepsiCo (Source: PepsiCo Corporate Citizenship Report 2008)

Fig. 5 Reduction of water used for manufacturing at PepsiCo India, in 2009 since three years (Source: http://www.pepsico.com)

References:

1. Brady, D. 2007. "Pepsi: repairing a poisoned reputation in India." Business Week, June 11. Retrieved December 6, 2009 from http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/may2007/gb20070531_868198.htm

2. Chudnovsky, D. & Lopez, A. 1999. Globalization and developing countries: foreign direct investment and growth and sustainable human development. Paper prepared for the UNCTAD/UNDP Global Programme on Globalization, Liberalization and Sustainable Development.

3. Bauerlein, V. 2009. "Pepsi to cut back on plastic used for bottled water." Retrieved December 6, 2009 from http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/content/pepsi-cut-back-plastic-used-bottled-water

4. Center for Science and Environment 2003.  "Hard truths about soft drinks." Down to Earth, Retrieved from http://www.cseindia.org/node/507

5. Cole, M. 2000. Air pollution and 'dirty' Industries: how and why does the composition of manufacturing output change with economic development? Environmental and Resource Economics, 17(1), 109-123.

6. Down to Earth 2007. "Pepsi plant indicted for polluting groundwater in Kerala."  Retrieved December 6, 2009 from http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/node/39680

7. Emde, M. 1999. An analysis of the effects of MNCs in India since liberalization. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal. Retrieved March 6, 2010  from http://artsandscience.usask.ca.ezproxy1.lib.asu.edu/economics/skjournal/sej-2nd/sej2.pdf

8. Gupta, S. 2004. "Rethinking waste management." India Together. Retrieved December, 2009 from http://www.indiatogether.org/2004/apr/env-rethink.htm

9. Goyal, K. 2006. Impact of globalization on developing countries: with special reference to India. International Research Journal of Finance and Economics, (5), 166-171.

10. Pesticide content in Indian soft drinks higher than before: CSE. (2006, InfoChange, Retrieved March 6, 2010 from http://infochangeindia.org/200609085108/Health/News/Pesticide-content-in-Indian-soft-drinks-higher-than-before-CSE.html

11. Jain, et. al 2006. Understanding India from a business perspective: opportunities and challenges for MNCs. Vikalpa, 31(3).

12. Kaye, T. 2004. Coca-Cola India. Dartmouth College, Truck School of Business.

13. Leonard, A.1994. (September, 1994). "Dumping Pepsi’s Plastic." Retrieved from http://www.mindfully.org/Pesticide/Dumping-Pepsi-Plastic-India94.htm.

14.  Moser, T. 2001. MNCs and sustainable business practice: the case of the Colombian and Peruvian petroleum industries. World Development, 29(2), 291-309.

15.  Pettigrew, A.1987. The management of strategic change. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

16. Perkins, R. 2007. Globalizing corporate environmentalism? Convergence and heterogeneity in Indian industry. Studies in Comparative International Development, 42(3-4). Retrieved December 9, 2009 from Springer Link database.

17. PepsiCo Inc. 2009. "Environmental sustainability." Retrieved January 18, 2010, from http://www.pepsico.com/Purpose/Sustainability/Sustainability-Report/Environmental-Sustainability.html#block_Packaging

18.  Pepsi Foods Pvt. Ltd. 2010"Our Corporate Profile." Retrieved January 18, 2010 from http://www.pepsiindia.co.in/Company/ourcorporateprofile.aspx

19.  Pepsi Foods Pvt. Ltd. 2010. "Replenishing water." Retrieved January 18, 2010 from http://www.pepsiindia.co.in/CSR/replenishingwater.aspx

20.  Reich, M. and Bowonder, B.1992. Environmental policy in India: strategies for better implementation. Policy Studies Journal, 20(4), 643-661.

21.   Shiva, V. 2006. "Coke Pepsi and the politics of food safety." Retrieved December 5, 2009  from http://www.zmag.org/zspace/commentaries/2690.

22.  Varma, R. (2002). New industrial policy. New Delhi: Retrieved from http://164.100.24.208/ls/committeeR/SCTC/22nd/report.html


[1] Closed Loop Recycling refers to a cyclical end use system of production, where the waste or byproduct of one process or product is used in making another product.

[2] Water Partners is a groundbreaking Water Credit Initiative by PepsiCo.  Its purpose is to establish a microfinance market that enables hundreds of thousands of impoverished people across India to gain better access to water through micro loans.

[3] Safe Water Network (SWN), supported by the PepsiCo Foundation, attempts to bring safe water to households and villages in India, Ghana and Bangladesh. Working with non-governmental and community organizations and the private sector, SWN will address the critical water needs of nearly a quarter million people by supporting the development and implementation of water systems that will reliably provide neglected populations with safe, affordable water.

Contributor's Biography:

Manjyot Bhan is a second year Master's student at the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. She expects to graduate in May 2010. She received an undergraduate degree in Economics, from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. She is pursuing research in the area of environmental management of multinational corporations in India, and is interested in exploring the synergies between domestic governments of host countries and the MNCs to reduce the impact of business operations on the environment. This is a very interesting area to explore, given the eminent role played by India and other developing countries in the current international climate change agreements and deals.

Behavioral Adoption: The Greatest Challenge to Sustainable Living

By John M. Quick Sustainability has been defined by the United Nations as the human ability to meet "the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." While one would be hard pressed to find an individual who is ideologically opposed to this tenet of sustainability, one may encounter similar difficulty in locating a person whose lifestyle truly embodies these ideals. Visions of a healthy, thriving, and "green" planet inspire warm and positive feelings in many people. Yet, as it turns out, human nature is such that thoughts are often not followed by actions. While the minds of some of the world’s citizens may be captivated by the notion of sustainability, taking real action in support of it can prove difficult. This discrepancy between thought and actual behavior presents sustainable living with its greatest challenge.

Theories related to innovation adoption, which explain how new ideas and practices diffuse through populations, can be applied to the sustainability challenge. A difficult truth of the adoption process is that people’s behaviors are determined not by the actual virtues or characteristics of an innovation, but instead by how they perceive these attributes, according to Gary Moore and Izak Benbasat, professors at the University of Calgary and the University of British Columbia, respectively. Fortunately, many components of sustainability (i.e. alternative energy, waste management, social wellbeing, etc.) are readily judged amiable by most citizens. However, the behavioral components of sustainability (i.e. walking instead of driving, recycling ones waste, participating in community service programs, etc.) are not so easily put into practice.

To analyze the adoption decisions that individuals make regarding whether to accept or reject a new sustainable practice, Everett Rogers, in his book Diffusion of Innovations, identifies the following five factors, all of which influence the sustainability challenge:

  1. Relative advantage is the degree to which the new behavior is believed to accrue more beneficial outcomes than current practice.
  2. Observability is how easy it is to witness the outcomes of the new behavior.
  3. Trialability is the ease with which the new behavior can be tested by an individual without making a full commitment.
  4. Compatibility is the degree to which the new behavior is consistent with current practice.
  5. Complexity is how difficult the new behavior is to implement.

Of these elements, the first two can be thought of as fixed in terms of sustainable living. Assuming that the overarching ideology behind sustainable practice is easily accepted, its relative advantage is recognized by many. On the other hand, observability is much less apparent over the course of a single human life, and it is often difficult to witness the long-term environmental impacts of individual sustainable choices. The third point, trialability, already exists to a large extent in sustainability practice. In general, individuals can choose to do things like recycle or use public transportation at will, without making a permanent commitment to do so. To achieve sustainability however, it is the final two factors of complexity and compatibility that necessitate considerable attention.

The highly interrelated factors of complexity and compatibility will be the strongest determinants of whether individuals adopt sustainable lifestyles. Currently, employing sustainable behavior is inappropriately complex and exceedingly incompatible with the everyday routine of most people. For one, people in some locations are asked to sort and disinfect their recyclables before personally delivering them to a facility. This requires significant time and effort, as well as knowledge of the requirements of a particular recycling plant. In contrast, the longstanding tradition with waste has been to simply toss it into a receptacle and never think of nor deal with it again. There is a stark disparity between these methods, for the new (recycling) behavior is highly complex compared to the standard practice.

Similar discrepancies in effort and efficiency can be found in many pursuits that promote sustainable living. Ultimately, when people are asked to make sacrifices in order to achieve outcomes that will not necessarily benefit them personally (at least in a quick and tangible way) they tend to not adopt the related (sustainable) behaviors. This is the essence of the observable difference in people’s attitudes and actions associated with sustainable behavior. Therefore, lowering complexity and increasing compatibility are the keys to promoting sustainable living.

Gene Hall and Shirley Hord, authors of Implementing Change: Patterns, Principles, and Potholes suggest that "successful change begins and ends at the individual level." If those who will define the policy, design, and implementation of sustainability want to see their thoughts put into practice, then they must make efforts to understand and support the individuals who will potentially adopt sustainable lifestyles. Once the people of the world have changed, they will have changed the world.

References

Hall, G., & Hord, S. (2005). Implementing change: Patterns, principles, and potholes. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Moore, G. C., & Benbasat, I. (1991). Development of an instrument to measure the perceptions of adopting an information technology innovation. Information Systems Research, 2(3), 192-222.

Rogers, E. (2003). Diffusion of innovations. New York, NY: Free Press.

United Nations. (1987). Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our common future (section I, part 3). Retrieved from http://www.un-documents.net/ocf-ov.htm#I.3

Contributor's Biography:

John M. Quick is an Educational Technology PhD student at Arizona State University interested in the design, research, and use of educational innovations. Currently, his work focuses on mixed-reality environments, interactive media, and innovation adoption. His portfolio is available online at www.johnmquick.com.

Consuming the Land: The Practice of American Traditions I

Biography
Gaea Bailey
Glass, installation and performance artist Gaea Bailey was born in upstate New York and migrated to Phoenix in the late 60s.  After a long corporate career and a decade in retirement, she co-founded The Lords of Art Town Studio and Gallery with her husband, Bill, in 2006.  Gaea’s artistic ventures reflect her interest in social commentary, evident in her installation piece, "An American Expression: Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees, the beauty of cultural designs revealed through her fused glass work and her concern for the way humans live with the Earth.  She holds a BA in Integrative Studies, a MA with a focus in archaeoastronomy from Arizona State University West Campus.  She currently lives in Phoenix surrounded by her husband, four children and granddaughter and is pursuing a second masters through ASU’s MAIS program.
Artist’s Statement
The attached photograph and menu are documentation of the first performance art in a series entitled Consuming the Land: The Practice of American Traditions.  Aldo Leopold, an esteemed early conservationist reminds us that land is much more than soil, it includes waters, plants, and animals, all of which we humans consume.  This project is informed by the tradition of consuming the land, as a society and as individuals, and focuses on our local history of land consumption and the consumption of the land as a result of holiday feasts.  In the first phase, our family Thanksgiving feast is measured in how many miles the food has traveled to get to our mouths.  Future phases will include the Christmas/New Year Holiday and may extend into 2010 for a complete annual cycle of consumption.  In pursuing this project I hope to reach a goal of sustainable feasting that reflects my responsibility to the land and my family.
Special thanks to Bill Bailey for the "aerial photographs."

The attached photograph and menu are documentation of the first performance art in a series entitled Consuming the Land: The Practice of American Traditions.  Aldo Leopold, an esteemed early conservationist, reminds us that land is much more than soil; it includes waters, plants, and animals, all of which we humans consume.  This project is informed by the tradition of consuming the land, as a society and as individuals, and focuses on our local history of land consumption and the consumption of the land as a result of holiday feasts.  In the first phase, the artist's family Thanksgiving feast is measured in how many miles the food has traveled to get to their mouths.  Future phases will include the Christmas/New Year Holiday and may extend into 2010 for a complete annual cycle of consumption.  In pursuing this project, Ms. Bailey hopes to reach a goal of sustainable feasting that reflects her responsibility to the land and her family.

menuconsuming the land aerial view

Special thanks to Bill Bailey for the "aerial photographs."

Contributor's Biography:

Glass, installation and performance artist Gaea Bailey was born in upstate New York and migrated to Phoenix in the late 60s.  After a long corporate career and a decade in retirement, she co-founded The Lords of Art Town Studio and Gallery with her husband, Bill, in 2006.  Gaea’s artistic ventures reflect her interest in social commentary, evident in her installation piece, An American Expression: Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees, the beauty of cultural designs revealed through her fused glass work, and her concern for the way humans live with the Earth.  She holds a BA in Integrative Studies and a MA with a focus in archaeoastronomy from Arizona State University West Campus.  She currently lives in Phoenix surrounded by her husband, four children and granddaughter and is pursuing a second masters through ASU’s MAIS program.

Commingled Sorting Facility + Z Was Here

Commingled Sorting Facility

In Commingled Sorting Facility, a raccoon is found peering into a garbage can. The animal makes several trips in and out of the bin to extract consumable waste. Meanwhile, refuse also collects on its body.

Z Was Here

The Chinese characters in Z Was Here translate to "was here," thereby reflecting the common, permanent etching found in many public places. The difference in this scenario is that the words are drawn in a sandy coastal area. Thus, the impact that "Z" has had on the environment will last for minutes at most, before being completely washed away.

 

Contributor's Biography:

 

 

John M. Quick is an Educational Technology Ph.D. student at Arizona State University, who is interested in the design, research, and use of educational innovations. Currently, his work focuses on mixed-reality environments, interactive media, and innovation adoption.  His portfolio is available online at www.johnmquick.com

The Services of a Praying Mantis

The services of a praying mantis In an effort to make ecological concepts like biodiversity applicable to policy, natural resource accounting (also known as Green GDP) attempts to place an economic value on "ecosystem services" provided by plants, animals and ecological process. The prerequisites of clean air, adequate water supplies, food production, and predictable weather certainly have economic value and should be preserved. However, this view has been accused of not giving adequate weight to more subjective concepts, such as intrinsic value, beauty, and desirability. While the cultural aesthetics attached to flowers will probably prevent them from being evaluated purely on considerations of carbon sequestration and soil erosion—should less charismatic species, such as this praying mantis, be appraised only on their virtues as an environmentally friendly form of pest control?

Contributor's Biography:

Jeffrey W. Ackley is a National Science Foundation Urban Ecology Fellow at Arizona State University. His doctoral research involves reptiles in disturbed, artificial, and urban habitats. He hopes to identify how animals respond to different types of human activities in order to make existing urban populations more sustainable, and to lessen the ecological consequences of future development. He is also a rescue diver and an underwater photographer.

Transformative pedagogy: Meeting the needs of the digital generation

By Ben Miller Traditional higher education pedagogy, or the approach to instructional design, must now come to terms with the boundless, yet challenging, opportunities made possible through information technology.  Education faces a transformative period in which characteristics of traditional in-person pedagogy interact with those of internet-based, digital learning.  The necessity of this transformation stems from the widening discrepancy between how students prefer to gather information and the pace at which information can be collected outside of traditional classrooms and the satisfaction endemic to the traditional pedagogical approach (Johnson 2005; Tapscott, 2008).  This discussion provides an overview of key characteristics of the contemporary college student, presents suggestions towards optimizing digital pedagogy design, and introduces a financial justification for shifting from traditional pedagogy to online instructional modeling.

The financial benefit of online instructional modeling is one pathway towards long-term survival in the broader discussion of sustainability at institutions of higher education.  As operational costs continue rising, small solutions, including the selective implementation of Course Management Systems (CMS), can realistically defray the financial burden on colleges and universities.  CMS allows academic units to reach more students while mitigating per-student costs.  CMS employment is a small part of the financial sustainability discussion, but this paper argues towards more integration of these systems and the positive tradeoffs of such an initiative against the contemporary higher education landscape, which is characterized by significant demands on enrollment and the high costs of technological integration (Johnstone, 1998).

Duderstadt (2002) suggests the key difference between older generations of students and "the Digital Generation" developed during childhood as "[contemporary] students have spent their early lives immersed in robust, visual, electronic media" and, from this significant formative influence, "today’s students expect – indeed demand – interaction" (p. 61).  In addition to several unique and somewhat misunderstood cognitive development aspects, this early interactive immersion also influences a shift in communicative, informational, and educational preferences.  "Today’s students like to do several things at once – they ‘multitask’…[and] although their attention span appears short…they appear to learn just as effectively as earlier generations" (Duderstadt, 2002, p. 61).  These common contemporary characteristics indicate that students are capable of and accustomed to absorbing relatively massive and diverse quantities of information – a capability that is a potent asset, rather than an inhibiting deficiency (Tapscott, 2008).  Duderstadt (2002) relates these key qualities to current instructional practice asserting that "[digital generation students] learn by experimentation and participation…they embrace interactivity [and] the right to shape and participate in their learning" (p. 62).  From these assertions, it is apparent that the passive nature of traditional pedagogy is increasingly unsatisfying for people engrossed in active knowledge consumption at a constant, daily rate beginning during childhood.

Smith, Salaway, and Caruso (2009) conducted research on undergraduate technology usage in a comprehensive study for the EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research (pp. 59-80).  These findings elucidate the complex nature of the preferences of the digital generation, describing them as diverse trends that indicate an overriding preference for integrating more technology in pedagogy.  A summary of critical findings from Smith, et al. (2009), follows:

  • In a sample of 30,262 students, 79 percent prefer gathering information through internet searches, a substantially greater percentage than those reporting alternate preferences (p. 61).
  • Preference for internet-based research increases concurrently with self-described levels of skill in employing technology: according to this report 90.2 percent of "very skilled" students prefer using internet searches, while 75.3 percent of "fairly skilled" populations and 60.9 percent of "not at all skilled" populations prefer using internet searches (p. 63).
  • From 2006 to 2009, the percentage of students reporting experience with CMS increased from 79.7 percent to 91.0 percent (p. 69).
  • From 2006 to 2009, the percentage of students reporting a "positive" or "very positive" experience with CMS decreased from 76.1 percent to 63.4 percent while those reporting a "neutral" experience increased from 19.4 percent to 31.7 percent with "negative" experiences reporting within a consistent range of 4.2 percent to 5.8 percent over the same three year period (p. 69).
  • In a sample of 30,324 students, 64.7 percent of students either "strongly disagree" or "disagree" that they prefer to skip in-person meetings if lecture material is available online (p. 72).

A preference for gathering information using internet-based resources is the most compelling finding of this study and is consistent with social research on the cognitive development and preferences of the digital generation (Duderstadt 2002; Tapscott 2008).  Moreover, even a clear majority of students that do not consider themselves skilled in internet-based research prefer this avenue over alternatives.  CMS clearly dominates the online component of contemporary pedagogy.  Ninety-one percent of students have experience with this technology and approximately ninety-five percent of respondents described a non-negative experience with CMS (Smith, et al., 2009, pp. 63-72).  The interplay between simultaneously reported preferences for technology and in-person instruction illustrates the hybrid nature of transformative pedagogy meeting the needs of the digital generation.  The phenomenon of decreasing satisfaction with CMS may be attributable to inflated satisfaction associated with the initial novelty (circa 2006) of integrating technological components into traditional pedagogy.  Although most respondents in this study prefer technologically-integrated pedagogy, it is important to include both in-person and internet-based elements when designing curricula aligned with the needs and preferences of the digital generation.

Creating the infrastructure, interest, and funds necessary for this fundamental shift in pedagogical design is a cultural transformation not easily realized.  The United States Department of Education (2008) compares this transformation to that faced by the business sector during the late 1990s.  As in higher education, major business firms invested in emerging technologies but did not immediately tap into the power of these technologies.  Over the following decade, businesses reaped the benefits of implementing efficient technological systems by redesigning their operational models to take advantage of their investment (p. 2).  Similarly, institutions of higher education must also adopt this approach.  The immediate challenge is to produce measurable outcomes.  The United States Department of Education (2008) claims "the large public investments in educational technology (exceeding 18 billion dollars in the last decade) have not yet produced in the education sector corresponding increases in productivity as measured by academic achievement" (p. 2).  While it is clear that "measures of productivity" must be considered as indicative of productivity resulting from technological integration, it is equally clear the frontier of possibilities is only now being broached.

The University of Alabama (UA)’s Mathematics Technology Learning Center (MTLC) provides a revealing example of the positive impact that transformative, non-traditional pedagogy can have on reducing administrative costs and facilitating measurable learning outcomes.  Moreover, the digital generation students participating in this academic experiment responded more favorably and learned with greater effectiveness than their counterparts, who were subjected to traditional higher education pedagogy.

Initially, the redesign of instructional pedagogy for five undergraduate mathematics courses at UA entirely eliminated in-person lectures in favor of computer-based learning and assessment.  The CMS, known as MyMathLab, allows students to elect using an online text or video instruction, provides automated grading of assessments (for which students are allowed limitless chances to master material before attempting computer-based quizzes), and monitors student participation automatically (Witkowski, 2008, p. 34).  This individualized and flexible pedagogy substantially increased productivity (as measured by student learning outputs).  Moreover, quantifying productivity gains in mathematics is relatively easy considering the finite nature of relevant subject matter.  Witkowski (2008) describes an increase in student success (achieving a C- average, or higher) of 40.4 percent to 59.8 percent from 2000 to 2007: a direct result of employing the MyMathLab CMS.  This percentage peaked at 73.8 percent in 2006 (p. 35).  Since then, UA re-integrated mandatory in-person lectures to supplement the MyMathLab system and many other departments adopted similar strategies to integrate CMS.

The UA-MTLC story contradicts the perception that institutions of higher education have not yet effectively shifted into the technology-based-pedagogy paradigm.  This cogent example of hybrid instructional modeling reflects the pace and informational format preferred by the digital generation.  This initiative corroborates Smith, et al. (2009)’s observation that a majority of students have non-negative experiences with CMS (p. 69).  Further, based on first-hand testimony provided by Witkowski (2008), the student experience with MyMathLab technology was overwhelmingly positive as productivity, measured by passing rates, increased notably (pp. 34-35).  This method of mathematics instruction, enhanced by the simultaneous influences of in-person lectures coupled with CMS technology, illustrates how transformative pedagogy can not only meet the needs of contemporary students, but also provide measurable indicators of productivity necessary to justify the prerequisite financial investment towards refined course design in the future.

Duderstadt (2002) describes the "digital age" as one in which "literacy [in] digital technologies is rapidly becoming an essential skill in a knowledge-driven society" (p. 64).  From this, the role of digital age higher education becomes clear: to hone and foster the abilities of students to employ digital resources in the pursuit of knowledge and interdisciplinary collaboration.  The UA example illustrates the effective use of technology, but more discussion is needed relative to individual student learning styles and preferences.

Adams, Devaney, and Sawyer (2009) offer Adam’s (2007) Recursive Model for Knowledge Development in Virtual Environments to further explain the relationship between pedagogical inputs and learning outputs.  This model relies on three axis of understanding: Knowledge Authority, Teaching Approach, and Knowledge Approach.  The Teaching Approach axis is most relevant to developing CMS in the digital age, as this part of the model "refers to the teaching strategies employed to develop skill sets and foster engagement and creative use of the knowledge" (p. 7).  Within the CMS paradigm, these strategies relate to pedagogy format (i.e. how the information is packaged and transmitted), the pace at which information becomes available to students (an instructor may initially elect to release only foundational concepts, for example), and selection of appropriate assessment tools.  The model argues that knowledge construction is greatly enhanced through refined pedagogy design aimed at establishing contextual relevance for digital generation students.  Smith, et al. (2009) assert that a majority of students prefer to construct knowledge through internet searches, but other formats are also effective and can be more easily integrated into transformative digital age pedagogy (p.61).

The active nature of digital age learning does not mean that one definitive pedagogical design is superior to alternatives.  Digital generation students are not solely described by technological skill levels and preferences.  Learning styles are still diverse as are the categorical areas in which students construct relevance.  Keirsey (1998 and 2001), from Kwan and Fong (eds.) (2005), modeled four student typologies: Artisan, Idealist, Guardian, and Rational.  These relate to knowledge-construction preference respective to each temperament:

  • Artisans prefer "hands-on experience, exploring, experimenting [and] are action-oriented in their learning approaches" (p. 194).
  • Idealists prefer "brainstorming, listening, speaking, interacting with others [and] are people-oriented in their learning approaches" (p. 194).
  • Guardians prefer "manipulating materials, following directions, building on given tasks [and] are details-and facts- oriented in their learning approaches" (p. 194).
  • Rationals prefer "logic, analysis, classifying, and drawing conclusions.  They are concepts-oriented in their learning approaches" (p. 194).

Awareness of these four typologies is critical to developing Teaching Approaches for virtual learning, and CMS is flexible enough to accommodate these learning styles.  For some of the typologies, creating relevance through pedagogical design is straightforward, while meeting the needs of others will require more creativity.  The interactive nature of idealists, for example, can be nurtured through dialogue-based pedagogy.  Current technological tools suited to idealist preferences include discussion boards, real-time chat rooms within virtual classrooms, and video communications.  Guardians are likely to be satisfied with objective systems like the MyMathLab CMS, which provide concept-based learning (through online text and/or video lectures) and remote assessment.  Rationals may prefer learning through slide presentations, podcasts, or text-based conceptual descriptions.  Artisans are the most likely to prefer laboratory-based, in-person instruction in which tactile experience facilitates knowledge construction.  Pedagogical design must evolve to include these different typology-based approaches, as well as combinations of specific typological preferences to increase effectiveness: any lesser effort needlessly disservices digital generation students.  And they are, as described by Duderstadt (2002) "active learners, since they will increasingly demand responsibility for their own learning experiences and outcomes…students will seek less to ‘know about’ and more to ‘know how’" (p. 64).  The transformative pedagogy of the digital age will continue to incorporate a hybrid design, but not out of cost or resource necessity.  It will do so because CMS’s largely untapped potential can satisfy the typological preferences of contemporary students through an evolution in Teacher Approach and technology-enriched course design.

Thus far, this discussion has focused largely on the philosophical factors of transformative pedagogy.  However, the associated costs of computer-based pedagogy represent a factor of significant interest to those involved with CMS planning and expansion.  Abell (2006) describes digital age pedagogy as employing "complex algorithms to cull appropriate student specific content…through synchronization of curricula presented using portable handheld devices…offer[ing] extensive customization and intelligent learning features" (p. 11).  Clearly, a substantial investment in technological development and integration will be required to implement the system described here, but real examples of long-term savings help justify the initial costs.  Witkowski (2008) noted that UA per-student costs in its MATH 100 course decreased by 28 percent when the university began employing MyMathLab CMS in 2001 (p. 37).  In this instance, CMS employment enhanced the financial sustainability of the University of Alabama Mathematics Department through a significant reduction in operational costs.  It is unclear, however, whether these savings can be replicated in more advanced courses requiring specially-skilled instructors.  As introductory courses are generally characterized by high enrollments, savings can be magnified when CMS is applied to these types of courses.  This is a sustainable strategy as reduced costs (even if localized only in introductory course offerings) potentially offset the initial costs of developing and implementing CMS.  Meanwhile, many students will likely discover a more personalized education aligned with their preferences for format, pace, and information consumption.

Bartley and Golek (2004) describe the significance of return on investment (ROI) in justifying the advantages of technology-based learning over traditional instructional models.  ROI is established by determining the positive or negative differential between the costs and benefits of an investment (p. 172).  When benefits (both financial and indirect) exceed costs, institutions gain a more financially sustainable and advantageous position.  CMS technology investments may prove to be immense, encompassing not only purchasing rights to technology and infrastructure development, but also the human resources training needed to make the technology functional and effective.  These costs, however, are easier to quantify than the indirect benefits of transformative pedagogy.  While long-term cost savings in course delivery (as in the UA example) are direct benefits, the indirect benefits of increased student satisfaction, learning, and professional exploration—all common goals of institutions of higher education—must also be considered.  ROI analysis based on realistic assessment of financial inputs versus both tangible and intangible outcomes will determine the speed and extent at which institutions and educators adopt transformative, technology-based pedagogy.

In conclusion, pedagogy design in higher education currently exhibits a hybrid personality in which traditional practices interact with technology on a regular basis for the majority of students.  The highly personalized redesign of digital age pedagogy can unlock the potential of technology for a new digital generation of students and build a foundation for the future.  Moreover, employing CMS is potentially one of the most effective strategies towards the incremental reduction of costs and financial sustainability for institutions of higher education.

References

Abell, M. (2006). Individualized learning using intelligent technology and universally designed curriculum. The Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment, 3(5), 1-21.

Adams, N. B., Devaney, T. A., & Sawyer, S. G. (2009). Measuring conditions conducive to knowledge development in virtual learning environments: Initial development of a model-based survey. The Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment, 1(8), 1-24.

Bartley, S. J., & Golek, J. H. (2004). Evaluating the cost effectiveness of online and face-to-face instruction. Educational Technology & Society, 7(4), 167-175.

Duderstadt, J. J. (2002). Higher education in the digital age: Technology issues and strategies for American colleges and universities. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.

Johnson, S. (2005). Everything bad is good for you. New York: Riverhead (Penguin Group)

Johnstone, D. B. (1998). The financing and management of higher education: A status report on worldwide reforms (World Bank report). Retrieved from World Bank website: http://www.fel-web.org/fel/bolonia/noabolonia.es/bancomundial.pdf

Kwan, R. (ed.), & Fong, J. (ed.). (2005, August). Web-based learning: Technology and pedagogy. Proceedings of the fourth international conference. Symposium conducted at the meeting of Hong Kong Web Society, Hong Kong.

Smith, S. D., Salaway, G., & Caruso, J. B. (2009). The ECAR study of undergraduate students and information technology, 2009. (Volume 6). Retrieved from EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research website: http://www.educause.edu/ECAR

Tapscott, Don. (2008). Grown up digital: How the net generation is changing your world. New York: McGraw-Hill

U. S. Department of Education. (2008). Harnessing innovation to support student success: Using technology to personalize education. Retrieved from: http://www.ed.gov

Witkowski, K. (2008). Increasing learning and decreasing costs through technology: The University of Alabama story. Change, March/April (2008), 32-37.

Contributor's Biography:

Ben Miller is currently working towards a Master's Degree in Higher and Post-secondary Education at Arizona State University after completing a Bachelor's Degree in Sports Management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2008.  He resides permanently in North Attleboro, Massachusetts and commenced graduate studies in Spring 2009.  His research interests include the effects of technology on students, American social traditions, and modern military studies.  He will pursue a career in institutional learning and development and/or continue research at the doctoral level with the objective of joining a university faculty.

An Apocalyptic Warning: Art’s Take on the Environment

When you walk into the “Defining Sustainability” exhibition at the Arizona State University Art Museum, you are thrust into a world of warning. The exhibition challenges viewers to step out of their day-to-day bustle, examining events such as industrialization and natural disasters, and to consider that the human existence is based on a limited supply of natural resources. Artists convey themes of conservation, decay, and survival.

Arizona Testbowl: Denying Human Rights and Experimenting with the Ecological Integrity of the San Francisco Peaks

In Northern Arizona, on the slopes of the state’s highest peak, stands an on-going controversy illuminating deep cultural divides.