The dynamics of organizational change related to environmental sustainability on university campuses are examined in this article. Whereas case studies of campus sustainability efforts tend to classify leadership as either “top‐down” or “bottom‐up”, this classification neglects consideration of the leadership roles of the institutional “middle” – namely the faculty and staff.
The authors draw from research conducted on sustainability initiatives at the University of Guelph combined with a review of faculty and staff‐led initiatives at universities across Canada and the USA, as well as literature on best practices involving campus sustainability. Using concepts developed in business and leadership literature, faculty and staff are shown to be universities' equivalent to social “intrapreneurs”, i.e. those who work for social and environmental good from within large organizations.
Faculty and staff members are found to be critical leaders in efforts to achieve lasting progress towards campus sustainability, and conventional portrayals of campus sustainability initiatives often obscure this. Greater attention to the potential of faculty and staff leadership and how to effectively support their efforts is needed.
In the paper, a case is made for emphasizing faculty and staff leadership in campus sustainability efforts and several successful strategies for overcoming barriers are presented.
Brinkhurst, M., Rose, P., Maurice, G. and Ackerman, J.D. (2011), "Achieving campus sustainability: top‐down, bottom‐up, or neither?", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 338-354. https://doi.org/10.1108/14676371111168269
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