July 28th, 2012 Sustainable Development
Sustainable development is one of the few trends in society that have been growing steadily over the latest decades (Robert, 2000). Since the last quarter of the 20th century significant efforts have been made in pursuit of sustainable development. However, the diverse overuse of the word "sustainable" in the literature augmented the complexity and the confusion. The term has come to mean too much and nothing at the same time which caused sustainable development as a concept to be too largely drawn to have any particular usefulness (Temple, 1992). Although it is expected to take some time before the technical characteristics, operational indicators and moral injunctions of sustainable development enjoy widespread consensus (Gladwin et al., 1995) there is urgent need for a holistic approach and a common understanding.
This complexity of the subject is exactly the answer of why most of the early studies were focused on the identification of sustainable development (e.g. Clark, 1989; Jim et al., 1991; Gore, 1992; Lee, 1993; Rolston, 1994; Viederman, 1994).
Although a unifying definition of sustainable development does not exist (Seelos and Mair, 2005), one of the most prevalent definitions of sustainable development was introduced in 1987 by The World Commission on Environment and Development, (Brundtland Commission) as "Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This simple definition covers a desired balance between the utilization of resources and the tendency of technological, economic, and social development.
Some scholars focus on the restrictive aspect of the issue and define sustainable development as the pursuit of economic growth, subject to environmental constraints (Batie, 1989). Another definition introduces sustainable development as a process of achieving human development in an inclusive, connected, equitable, prudent, and secure manner (Gladwin et al., 1995).
In all these definitions, the spirit of sustainable development basically suggests development to consider both protection of natural resources and maintenance of environmental quality (Batie, 1989) which has not been a habit in the past (Munslow and Fitzgerald, 1994).
With the escalated global awareness and the notion of one world over recent decades, numbers of successive but overlapping concerns are emerged: population growth, environmental change, inequalities in development and political fragmentation and instability (Clarke, 1993). These concerns have been the infra-structure of the sustainable development phenomenon and forced sustainment and development circles to converge towards each other.
The efforts in the field of sustainable development are basically focused on the determination and establishment of the balanced interaction between sustainment and development. The degree of overlap determines the level of interaction between sustainment and development or in other words the overlapped area indicates foundations of sustainable development.
A total overlap between sustainment and development would be too optimistic and utopian. However we might conclude that the main purpose of all individual and institutional endeavors for sustainable development is probably to broaden this intersection as much as possible.
Due to the popularity of the term "sustainable development" and speculations about its role (Jickling, 1994), various models are developed in the literature to explain and simplify the complex relationship between sustainment and development (e.g. Jickling, 1994; Clark, 1995; Straussfogel, D., 1997; Chichilnisky, 1997; Kates et al., 2008).
Just like many others the first section of our study is also focused on the assessment of the connection between sustainment and development. Our study premises four major alternatives to classify this link: Sustainment with development, sustainment without development, development without sustainment, and neither development nor sustainment.
Livvarcin and Dudaroglu, 2008. "A 3D Conceptual Model for the Evaluation of Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development", Journal of Business Venturing