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Article

Gayle C. Avery and Harald Bergsteiner

This BMW case aims to show how many of the company's practices that accord with principles espoused in the authors' sustainable leadership model contributed to its

Abstract

Purpose

This BMW case aims to show how many of the company's practices that accord with principles espoused in the authors' sustainable leadership model contributed to its recovery after the global financial crisis (GFC).

Design/methodology/approach

This case illustrates how BMW institutes the 23 honeybee leadership principles and practices described in the authors' 2011 article “Sustainable leadership: practices for enhancing business resilience and performance” in Strategy & Leadership.

Findings

The examples provide a glimpse into the honeybee practices that enabled one firm to emerge successfully from the GFC. Regarding the five performance outcomes on the sustainable leadership pyramid, BMW clearly exceeded expectations in 2010 on financial returns and shareholder value.

Practical implications

Clearly BMW provides long‐term value for all its stakeholders – suppliers, shareholders, employees and customers – as is expected of a sustainable enterprise. BMW's business model, innovative approach to problem‐solving and adherence to sustainable leadership practices underpin a capacity to survive crises such as the GFC.

Originality/value

This is a rare case study of corporate‐wide sustainability practices and principles in operation. Informed by the examples of best practices at BMW, managers at other companies can envision how honeybee management might be implemented at their firm.

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Article

Gayle C. Avery and Harald Bergsteiner

The purpose of this paper is to present an alternative leadership model to the prevailing shareholder‐first approach that research, management experts and practice

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present an alternative leadership model to the prevailing shareholder‐first approach that research, management experts and practice indicate can lead to higher performance and resilience of a firm.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper is based on published literature, empirical research, and observations conducted in firms worldwide.

Findings

Avery and Bergsteiner's 23 principles differentiate sustainable or “honeybee” practices from shareholder‐first or “locust” leadership. Sustainable practices are arranged in a pyramid with three levels of practices and five performance outcomes at the apex. A total of 14 foundation practices can be introduced immediately. At the next level in the pyramid, six higher‐level practices emerge once the foundations are in place. Finally, three practices cover the key performance drivers of innovation, quality, and staff engagement – all of which end customers' experience. Together the 23 practices influence five outcomes, namely brand and reputation, customer satisfaction, operational finances, long‐term shareholder value, and long‐term value for multiple stakeholders.

Practical implications

Given that research and practice show that operating on sustainable principles enhances business performance and resilience, executives are urged to adopt these practices over business‐as‐usual. If self‐interest does not motivate this change, as it appears to have already done at Wal‐Mart, then major stakeholders or legislators can be expected to force such changes in the future.

Originality/value

This paper provides an answer to the question of whether there is there an alternative to the shareholder‐first leadership model. Its response is: yes, a demonstrably effective alternative already operates among many successful enterprises around the world.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 39 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

Keywords

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Article

Harald Bergsteiner and Gayle C. Avery

Responsibility and accountability are central to much of what managers do, but in the literature these complex social science concepts are confused. The paper aims to…

Abstract

Purpose

Responsibility and accountability are central to much of what managers do, but in the literature these complex social science concepts are confused. The paper aims to bring theoretical rigour, structure, consistency and parsimony to this field, using as an example the subcategories of responsibility referred to as corporate social responsibility (CSR) and global responsibility.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper analyses and identifies overlaps, redundancies, gaps, limitations and flaws in current constructs of responsibility and accountability. Using this as a base, we propose a responsibility and accountability matrix comprised of eight constructs, which in turn underpin a process model in which responsibility precedes accountability.

Findings

The eight constructs are shown to be sufficient and necessary to explain: the nature of the obligation that one party has to another (role, legal, ethical and moral responsibility); the responsibilities and accountabilities that arise from decisions, actions and behaviours (causal, judged and felt responsibility; external and felt accountability); and how these responsibilities differ from constructs that define the ambit of responsibility (personal, team, corporate, social and global responsibility). This then forms the basis of a proposed generic process model of responsibility and accountability that shows how the discrete and sequential stages of the process typically unfold, and how the responsibility and accountability constructs proposed above relate to each other and to the various process stages. It argues that concepts of CSR and global responsibility, poorly defined both in practice and in the literature, can be better understood when these eight constructs are applied to them.

Practical implications

To underscore the practical implications of the theory, it shows, by reference to the model, how CSR and global responsibility can play out in the case of banks. However, being a generic model, it extends to many other applications in management and the social sciences.

Originality/value

The proposed model is highly original, clarifying, augmenting, categorising and integrating concepts of accountability and responsibility. The paper is also original in providing a framework for reducing CSR and global responsibility to their constituent first‐order constructs.

Details

Journal of Global Responsibility, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2041-2568

Keywords

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Article

Tanyu Zhang, Gayle C. Avery, Harald Bergsteiner and Elizabeth More

This study aims to, given that most research focusses on leaders and ignores the influence of follower characteristics on either leadership or engagement, investigate…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to, given that most research focusses on leaders and ignores the influence of follower characteristics on either leadership or engagement, investigate whether employee characteristics moderate the relationship between perceived leadership styles and employee engagement. Recent research has shown that visionary and organic leadership paradigms positively influence employee engagement, compared with classical and transactional leadership environments (Zhang et al., 2014).

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaire data from 432 sales assistants, collected from retail shopping malls in Sydney, Australia, were analyzed.

Findings

Structured regression analysis confirmed that the employee characteristics of need for achievement, equity sensitivity and need for clarity moderate the relationship between four leadership paradigms and employee engagement. The nature of the moderation varies in complex ways.

Research limitations/implications

There is scope to confirm this study in different contexts, to include additional employee characteristics and reconfirm some scales and to remove common method variance.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that to improve employee engagement: employers should recruit staff exhibiting characteristics predicted to generate high employee engagement; organizations should develop supervisors to ensure that they adopt leadership styles found to drive employee engagement; and recruiters should consider matching the characteristics of employees to the prevailing leadership paradigm(s) in the organization.

Originality/value

This paper addresses a major gap in the literature by examining the moderating effects of follower characteristics on different leadership paradigms and employee engagement.

Details

Journal of Global Responsibility, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2041-2568

Keywords

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Article

Fenwick Feng Jing, Gayle C. Avery and Harald Bergsteiner

The purpose of this paper is to address an important gap in the literature by investigating the relationship between organizational climate and performance in small businesses.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address an important gap in the literature by investigating the relationship between organizational climate and performance in small businesses.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 100 retail pharmacies in Sydney, Australia where a manager and up to three staff members and three buying customers were interviewed in each pharmacy.

Findings

Supportive climates tend to be associated with higher organizational performance (i.e. financial performance, staff satisfaction, customer satisfaction) in small retail pharmacies, and may reduce staff turnover.

Practical implications

The results suggest that managers should consider creating warm and supportive organizational climates to enhance business performance, employee job satisfaction and organizational commitment, and increase employee tenure.

Originality/value

This paper is among the first to empirically establish a direct link between organizational climate and the performance of small businesses, in particular in retail pharmacies. Both financial and non‐financial measures of performance confirm reports based on larger firms that performance is enhanced in the presence of more supportive organizational climates. A further benefit of supportive climates, namely lower staff turnover in small businesses, was also evident.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

Keywords

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Article

Tanyu Zhang, Gayle C. Avery, Harald Bergsteiner and Elizabeth More

This study investigated whether the direct supervisor's leadership style affects employee engagement using Avery's classical, transactional, visionary, and organic…

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigated whether the direct supervisor's leadership style affects employee engagement using Avery's classical, transactional, visionary, and organic leadership paradigms as the theoretical framework. The study also investigated how many and which components of employee engagement (“say”, “stay” and “strive”) contribute to the construct. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of 439 retail sales assistants in Sydney, Australia, responded to a mixed-mode questionnaire survey. Factor analysis, independent t-tests, analysis of variance and structural regression models were used in the data analysis.

Findings

Both research questions were supported. Results showed that the visionary and organic paradigms are likely to enhance employee engagement, whereas classical and transactional styles negatively affect employee engagement. Furthermore, the data confirmed that the three behavioral-outcome factors all do contribute to the employee engagement construct.

Research limitations/implications

One implication for researchers is that an employee engagement measure with demonstrably high reliability and validity, and known components has been developed. This study could be replicated in different national and occupational contexts, the leadership measures reconfirmed and expanded, follower characteristics included as moderating variables, and links to organizational performance investigated.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that direct supervisors should be encouraged to use visionary and/or organic leadership wherever possible to drive employee engagement.

Originality/value

This paper is original in several ways. It resolves an ongoing dispute in the literature about the components of employee engagement, namely whether all three components contribute to the concept. In answering this question, a valid and reliable questionnaire was developed. Using four leadership paradigms, including classical and organic leadership that are rarely investigated, this study demonstrates that employee perceptions of the leadership style used by their direct supervisor are linked to employee engagement.

Details

Journal of Global Responsibility, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2041-2568

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 39 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

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Article

Suparak Suriyankietkaew and Gayle C. Avery

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the leadership and management practices that positively affect stakeholder satisfaction, an under-studied area important for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the leadership and management practices that positively affect stakeholder satisfaction, an under-studied area important for both academic researchers and leaders. Relationships between 23 leadership and management practices and overall stakeholder satisfaction (OSS) were examined.

Design/methodology/approach

Avery and Bergsteiner ' s (2010, 2011a) sustainable leadership (SL) model provided the theoretical framework for a cross-sectional survey research design used to gather empirical data from 439 managers of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Thailand.

Findings

Results show all SL practices except financial market orientation were significantly related to OSS, and the more an organisation adopts significant SL practices, the higher the OSS is likely to be. The particular SL practices that positively predicted enhanced OSS were amicable labour relations, staff retention, strong and shared vision, strategic and systemic innovation, and high staff engagement and quality.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should further examine relationships between SL practices and a range of organisational performance outcomes in different contexts, as well as the relationship between SL practices and sustainable human resource management (SHRM), and between SHRM and stakeholder satisfaction.

Practical implications

The findings provide guidance on which SL practices to adopt for managers of SMEs in Thailand and possibly in other countries, who wish to improve their stakeholder satisfaction and sustain their business success.

Social implications

Policy makers may gain insights into practices that drive performance in SMEs, a strong force in many economies.

Originality/value

This study extends current knowledge of leadership and management practices that positively predict enhanced stakeholder satisfaction, an area in which empirical evidence has to date been largely lacking.

Details

Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-4323

Keywords

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Article

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

Effective leadership is a vital ingredient in the success of any business concern. When major problems arise, having the right guidance from the top becomes more important than ever. Few challenges have proved tougher than the recent global financial crisis (GFC). Even the largest players found this out to their cost. While some suffered the ignominy of government recue, others were unluckier still. The road marked oblivion mercilessly beckoned such corporations. Amid any doomsday scenario, some cause for optimism will emerge. One heartwarming story in this instance is the continued strength of BMW within an industry badly affected by the economic downturn. As rivals like General Motors and Chrysler floundered, the German automaker emerged from the crisis to post its best results since being founded in 1916.

Practical implications

The paper provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world's leading organizations.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy‐to digest format.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 29 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 39 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

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