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Research on sustainability leadership in higher education: a scoping review

Pwint Nee Aung (Center for Research on Sustainable Leadership, College of Management, Mahidol University, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand)
Philip Hallinger (Center for Research on Sustainable Leadership, College of Management, Mahidol University, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand and Department of Educational Leadership and Management, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 12 August 2022

Issue publication date: 3 February 2023

1367

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the centrality of leadership to the successful transformation of universities toward sustainability, the literature on the role and practices of sustainability leadership in higher education remains poorly developed. To address this gap, this study aims to develop a conceptual model of sustainability leadership in higher education.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts the scoping review method to review, critique and synthesize relevant literature.

Findings

The resulting model of sustainability leadership in higher education proposes that sustainability leadership in higher education has the potential to transform university practices through reorientation and stewardship of the institutional mission and strengthening the commitment of stakeholders. Sustainability leadership has the potential to create a positive effect on a balanced set of performance indicators, as well as contributing to institutional and societal resilience in the longer term.

Originality/value

Sustainability leadership in higher education should be given prominence in its own right due to the unique organizational context of universities. This study synthesized the current discourse on sustainability leadership in higher education and its distinct attributes toward sustainable development.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: This research was funded by the ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue (ACSDSD), College of Management, Mahidol University.

Conflict of interest: The authors state no conflict of interest in the conduct of this research.

Citation

Aung, P.N. and Hallinger, P. (2023), "Research on sustainability leadership in higher education: a scoping review", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 517-534. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-09-2021-0367

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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