Quotation Etchanchu, Helen, de Bakker, Frank, Delmestri, Giuseppe. 2021. Social movement organizations’ agency for sustainable organizing. In: Research Handbook of Sustainability Agency, Hrsg. Teerikangas, S., Onkila, T., Koistinen, K., & Mäkelä, M. 1-20. London: Edward Elgar.




This chapter argues that social movement organizations (SMOs) are relevant actors in the sustainability transition. It presents strategies, success factors and challenges of sustainability SMOs, emphasizing their agency in mobilizing collective action to achieve sustainability goals. We discuss different strategies (aimed at collaboration, confrontation, or prefiguration), organizational forms (characterized by different degrees of organizing) and outcomes (at organizational, community and societal levels) of SMOs. We then illustrate our take of the literature on sustainability SMOs using the recent example of Extinction Rebellion that one of us investigated through participant observation. We conclude with a few avenues for future research, including digital and transnational movements, their potential to transform dominant neoliberal narratives, and the role of academic agency for sustainable organizing.


Press 'enter' for creating the tag

Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Chapter in edited volume
Language English
Title Social movement organizations’ agency for sustainable organizing
Title of whole publication Research Handbook of Sustainability Agency
Editor Teerikangas, S., Onkila, T., Koistinen, K., & Mäkelä, M.
Page from 1
Page to 20
Location London
Publisher Edward Elgar
Year 2021
Reviewed? Y
Open Access N


Delmestri, Giuseppe (Details)
de Bakker, Frank (IESEG School of Management / LEM-CNRS 9221, Lille, France, France)
Etchanchu, Helen (Montpellier Business School, Montpellier, France, France)
Institute for Change Management and Management Development IN (Details)
Competence Center for Sustainability Transformation and Responsibility WE (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5307 Business and management economics (Details)
5324 Organizational research (Details)
5333 Business management (Details)
5352 Human resource management, personnel management (Details)
5407 Ethics and social sciences (Details)
Google Scholar: Search