March 2013, Thomas Kochan, Eileen Appelbaum, Carrie Leana, and Jody Hoffer Gittell

This paper identifies a number of questions that need to be answered if the growing interest in building investment portfolios of firms that follow socially and environmentally sustainable practices is to be successful in transforming the financial institutions and analysts from a liability to an asset in expanding the number of sustainable firms in the economy. Evidence from three decades of research on “high performance workplace practices” is reviewed that identifies what is required for firms to align human capital and financial strategies. A longer term research and education agenda is presented for answering the remaining open questions.

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