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The development of leaders able to respond to climate change and sustainability challenges: The role of business schools

Carol A. Adams (La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia)
Marielle G. Heijltjes (School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands)
Gavin Jack (Graduate School of Management, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia)
Tim Marjoribanks (Graduate School of Management, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia)
Michael Powell (Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia)

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal

ISSN: 2040-8021

Article publication date: 30 August 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to discuss the role of business academics and business schools in the development of leaders able to respond to climate change and sustainability challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper captures contributions made during a panel discussion at the First Academic Symposium on Leadership for Climate Change and Sustainability held at La Trobe University, Melbourne in February 2011. The Symposium preceded the 10th General Assembly of the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI) held in Melbourne and the authors are from GRLI partner organisations.

Findings

There is a pressing need for business schools to focus on the development of personal and leadership skills, to draw staff from outside the traditional business disciplines and to reflect the gender and race diversity of the population in which they are located. The change required in business education to develop leaders who can respond to climate change and sustainability challenges is as significant as the changes needed to the way businesses operate.

Practical implications

The paper identifies changes required in business leadership and outlines key elements of change needed in business education. It assists business school leaders in articulating the business case for business schools to address these issues and navigate potential barriers.

Originality/value

The paper brings together the views of five professors from a different disciplinary background (accounting, critical management, organisational behaviour, organisational design and sociology) with leadership positions in business schools and universities.

Keywords

Citation

Adams, C.A., Heijltjes, M.G., Jack, G., Marjoribanks, T. and Powell, M. (2011), "The development of leaders able to respond to climate change and sustainability challenges: The role of business schools", Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 165-171. https://doi.org/10.1108/20408021111162191

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited