Elephants in the Boardroom? Sustainable values-based strategic decision-making in a Dutch housing association

Sandra Hoomans

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

97 Downloads (Pure)


The central research question in this study is: Which meaning is given to sustainability within a Dutch housing association and does making sense of the concept of sustainability lead to sustainable strategic choices? The chosen research strategy is a longitudinal case study in the Dutch housing association Welbions. Data was collected in three periods between 2009 and 2018. Welbions associates sustainability mainly with the financial position, costs and affordability, and interprets the concept as investment measures in energy savings, reducing the usage of gas and CO2-emissions which are aimed at in covenants. From the listed factors influencing strategic decision-making, the economic, technical and personal frames appeared to be used mostly. The organizational and ethical frame were used only once, and the aesthetic frame was not used at all. Noteworthy is that ecological developments were not mentioned. Frames derived from the decision criteria showed a dominating economic frame. Making sense of sustainability does not result in sustainability-based actions, or choice. This indicates that sustainable values have not gained a position in strategic decision-making, compared to traditional values such as cost-efficiency and affordability.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Gruis, V.H., Supervisor
  • Remoy, H.T., Advisor
Award date8 Apr 2019
Print ISBNs978-94-028-1429-3
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2019


  • Sustainability
  • Sensemaking
  • Strategic decision making
  • housing association

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Elephants in the Boardroom? Sustainable values-based strategic decision-making in a Dutch housing association'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this