Sustainable practice

Importance of Applied Research

The Importance of Business Research in Sustainability

As sustainable practices are applied to more complex business models, the importance of sustainability research to the business sector will only continue to grow. Industry frontrunners will seek concrete proof that sustainability solutions are able to drive profitable success. According to Harvard Business Review, many influential experts agree sustainability-focused innovation will spark a more profitable and environmentally-friendly future. Engineering that future will require decisive action from business leaders who understand the latest in applied sustainability research and how it applies to their respective industries.

This transformative applied research may look different from sustainability research in other disciplines like the natural sciences. Business-focused research needs to affect fundamental questions that are crucial to success, including “Will this achieve the various compliance requirements set internally, or by outside organizations?” and most importantly “Is this solution sustainable and profitable?”.

Business Research Focused on Sustainability

Forward-thinking business professionals with research experience are crucial to accomplishing sustainability endeavors. While they are well-versed in sustainability practices, relying on sustainability consultants is not an ideal solution in terms of cost and lack of internal company knowledge. Also, not all sustainability consultants have the necessary management background to advise in detail on business strategy, especially on initiatives that are fresh to the sustainable space. Thoughtful business leaders who are well versed in sustainability research have the potential to become nimble and profitable business strategists. Those who are able to speak intelligently as both sustainability analysts and business leaders possess specialized knowledge that is a major asset to their career.

While being able to interpret case studies and understand scientific sustainability terminology is an excellent starting point, it would be even better to have sustainable business leaders who understand how to masterfully conceive sustainability research themselves. Being able to lead this sustainability research with a pragmatic business focus increases the likelihood of a sustainability initiative’s world-changing success. Furthermore, business research on sustainability topics is more likely to influence and encourage other business leaders to adopt that strategy, rather than research produced outside the industry for more scientific purposes. Social responsibility and sustainability reform receive more buy-in once business professionals can firmly determine through their own research that sustainability is the leading-edge of business, especially in a global economy with climate change affecting our daily lives more and more.

Without these comprehensive resources, it is difficult for sustainable businesses to fully understand where they fit into the larger picture—what are the environmental and social impacts of various industries or business models? Having attentive research at the right time shapes the best sustainability solutions for a particular business in its context. Business research that also advances prominent standards for proper implementation and measurement of sustainable business practices is needed to spark world-changing progress.

Why Write a Master’s Thesis?

One way of fostering this specialized business knowledge related to sustainability would be to earn a master’s degree that has research or thesis components already embedded in the program. Unfortunately, many graduate business-related programs in the United States do not offer degrees focused on research, especially related to sustainability. The benefits of this research-based model are brilliantly clear, so it is also worth considering more interdisciplinary programs that offer sustainability research opportunities alongside an inventive business curriculum.

Typically, research is incorporated into a graduate degree through a thesis writing segment. The transformative benefits of choosing this master’s thesis format are compelling. Especially as part of a Master of Science degree, writing a master’s thesis ignites a deeper connection with coursework, compared to other curricular structures. If the master’s thesis incorporates applied research, having an overarching project to work towards can offer career-building opportunities in your industry.

With a master’s degree unleashing opportunity to shape business-focused sustainability research, you are able to transform your passion for environmental and social impact concerns into actionable, concrete goals. In addition, sustainability-related research nurtures critical thinking and analytical skills that are crucial to becoming a successful business leader in the global, digital economy. Establishing intellectual tenacity and expertise in a subject beyond broad business management concepts impresses future employers and illuminates a fresh future in entrepreneurship.

A Degree Combining Business and Sustainability

Glasgow Caledonian New York College (GCNYC) is an academic institution known for its visionary integration of business and sustainability research. GCNYC offers Master of Science degrees in Sustainable FashionRisk, Resilience and Integrity Management and Business for Social Impact and Sustainability—all with a master’s thesis component. Students are well-supported by compassionate and helpful faculty throughout their research process. All programs share the objective of empowering working professionals to become independent creators of new knowledge in their industry.

At GCNYC, our Center for Social Impact and Innovation also inspires the pioneering sustainability research of our students as well as fosters applied research in this field more broadly through community partnerships, public events and guest speakers. In connection with the Center, students  can engineer a partnership with a business, nonprofit or governmental agency to illuminate the real-world implications of their social impact and sustainability master’s thesis.

At Glasgow Caledonian New York College, we believe that sustainability research utilized by visionary business leadership will drive systemic change to solve society’s most pressing sustainability issues. This applied research ethos is integrated into our coursework and in every master’s thesis our students research.

Building The Future of Business Through Sustainability Research

Sustainability research applied to business practices has enormous potential to pioneer the future. Through visionary Master of Science programs, business leaders who have been educated to conduct applied research will be fully equipped to usher in this new sustainable future and lead their enterprises to profitable success. 

Learn more about GCNYC’s transformative Master of Science programs.

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