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Article
Publication date: 5 July 2011

Sooksan Kantabutra and Gayle C. Avery

This study examines the question of whether sustainable leadership principles, also known as Rhineland leadership, can apply to a listed business in an emerging economy.

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2781

Abstract

Purpose

This study examines the question of whether sustainable leadership principles, also known as Rhineland leadership, can apply to a listed business in an emerging economy.

Design/methodology/approach

Avery's sustainable leadership grid provided the framework for analysis of a major publicly‐listed Thai enterprise, the Siam Cement Group (SCG). A multi‐method case study used semi‐structured interviews with various stakeholders, observations, and internal and external documentation. The Rhineland principles were grouped into six categories for analysis: long‐term perspective, investing in people, organizational culture, innovation, social and environmental responsibility, and behaving ethically.

Findings

Overall, data showed moderate to strong evidence for 18 of the 19 grid practices at SCG, the exception being the CEO serving as speaker of the top team rather than being a heroic leader. Moderate evidence was found for consensual and devolved decision making and self‐governing teams. All 16 other elements were strongly evident.

Research limitations/implications

Case studies cannot lead to generalizations, and therefore further research is required into other businesses to gauge the extent of Rhineland practices in Thailand and other developing economies.

Practical implications

Rhineland principles link to enhanced brand and reputation, customer and staff satisfaction, and financial performance compared with business‐as‐usual practices. Therefore, managers are advised to evaluate their current practices with a view to adopting more sustainable versions. The sustainable leadership grid provides a useful checklist for this purpose.

Social implications

Society and the planet stand to benefit under Rhineland practices. Increasingly, business is expected to help address many of the pressing problems facing humankind, such as climate change, pollution, unethical practices, and shortages of fossil fuels, water, and other resources. Rhineland leadership can contribute here because of its concern for the wider effects of its activities on society and the environment.

Originality/value

This paper is highly original. It contains the first examination of Rhineland leadership in a developing economy. In addition, it shows that even a public company can resist pressures to conform to business‐as‐usual practices and adopt the long‐term, socially responsible principles of Rhineland leadership.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2011

Sooksan Kantabutra

Rhineland leadership practices contrast sharply with the prevailing Anglo/US business model of short‐term maximization of profitability, and are said to lead to greater…

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5307

Abstract

Purpose

Rhineland leadership practices contrast sharply with the prevailing Anglo/US business model of short‐term maximization of profitability, and are said to lead to greater corporate sustainability, at least in highly developed economies. However, the applicability of Rhineland leadership to less developed economies has not yet been demonstrated. This paper sets out to compare the business practices of a social enterprise that delivers healthcare services in Thailand and Avery's 19 sustainable leadership practices derived from Rhineland enterprises.

Design/methodology/approach

Adopting a case study approach, multi‐data collection methods included non‐participant observations made during visits to the enterprise, and reference to internal and published documentation and information. Semi‐structured interview sessions were held with many stakeholders, including top management, staff, patients and a former consultant.

Findings

In the Thai healthcare organization studied, evidence was found for compliance with 15 of Avery's 19 sustainable leadership elements, but to varying degrees. The elements were grouped into six core sets of practices: adopting a long‐term perspective, staff development, organizational culture, innovation, social responsibility, and ethical behavior. One element was found to be not applicable, and no evidence was found for conformity with Rhineland principles on the remaining three sustainable practices. The paper concludes that Avery's 19 Rhineland practices provide a useful framework for evaluating the corporate sustainability of this Thai enterprise.

Practical implications

Healthcare enterprises in Thailand and possibly in other Asian countries that wish to sustain their organizational success could adopt Avery's 19 Sustainable Leadership Grid elements to examine their leadership practices, and adjust them to become more sustainable.

Originality/value

The relevance of Rhineland sustainable leadership principles to enterprises in less developed economies remains to be investigated. This study attempts to uncover this unknown.

Details

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0952-6862

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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2013

Sooksan Kantabutra and Gayle Avery

Avery and Bergsteiner's updated set of 23 sustainable leadership practices derived from sustainable enterprises and five performance outcomes provides a framework to…

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1736

Abstract

Purpose

Avery and Bergsteiner's updated set of 23 sustainable leadership practices derived from sustainable enterprises and five performance outcomes provides a framework to examine the business practices of Thailand's largest conglomerate, Siam Cement Group (SCG). The aim of this paper is to build on and expand Kantabutra and Avery's study based on Avery.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis was conducted by grouping Avery and Bergsteiner's principles into six categories, namely taking a long‐term perspective, investing in people, adapting the organizational culture, being innovative, exhibiting social and environmental responsibility, and behaving ethically. Adopting a multi‐data collection approach, research teams supplemented case study data with non‐participant observations from visits to the conglomerate and its training sessions. Multiple stakeholders were interviewed in semi‐structured interviews. Documentation and information supplied by, or published about, the conglomerate was consulted.

Findings

All six sets of practices, which sharply contrast with the prevailing business model of short‐term maximization of profitability but are consistent with the 23 sustainable leadership practices, were found to apply in varying degrees to SCG. A total of 19 applied strongly, with three others moderately strong.

Practical implications

Given that sustainable leadership principles are associated with enhanced brand and reputation, customer and staff satisfaction, and financial performance, the new Sustainable Leadership Grid provides corporate leaders with a useful checklist for this purpose.

Originality/value

This paper reports on the first examination of Avery and Bergsteiner's 23 sustainable leadership elements in a developing economy. It shows that even a publicly‐listed company can resist pressures to conform to business‐as‐usual practices and adopt the long‐term, socially responsible principles of “honeybee” sustainable leadership.

Details

Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-4323

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Article
Publication date: 10 May 2013

Sooksan Kantabutra and Molraudee Saratun

The aim of this paper is to adopt Avery and Bergsteiner's 23 sustainable leadership practices derived from sustainable organizations as a framework to examine the…

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1704

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to adopt Avery and Bergsteiner's 23 sustainable leadership practices derived from sustainable organizations as a framework to examine the leadership practices of Thailand's oldest university.

Design/methodology/approach

Avery and Bergsteiner's principles were grouped into six categories for analysis: long‐term perspective, staff development, organizational culture, innovation, social responsibility, and ethical behavior, providing the framework for analysis of the university. Adopting a multi‐data collection approach, research teams supplemented case study data with participant observations, and reference to documentation and information supplied by, or published about the university. Semi‐structured interviews were held with multiple stakeholders.

Findings

Six core sets of practices consistent with 21 sustainable leadership practices are identified: a focus on a long‐term perspective, staff development, a strong organizational culture, innovation, social and environmental responsibility and ethical behavior.

Practical implications

Since sustainable leadership principles link to enhanced brand and reputation, customer and staff satisfaction, and financial performance, the Sustainable Leadership Grid provides educational leaders with a useful checklist for this purpose.

Originality/value

This paper contains the first examination of sustainable leadership in the higher education sector. It shows that even a public service organization can adopt the long‐term, socially responsible principles of sustainable leadership.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 10 May 2011

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

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14087

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

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2006

Julia J.A. Shaw

There are too many examples of CSR as a mere PR exercise however with public confidence in the existence of a ‘corporate conscience’ at an all‐time low, supported by the…

Abstract

There are too many examples of CSR as a mere PR exercise however with public confidence in the existence of a ‘corporate conscience’ at an all‐time low, supported by the box‐office success of movies such as, ‘The Insider’, ‘Erin Brockovich’, ‘The Corporation’ and ‘Supersize Me’, it is recognised that trust needs to be restored. Although high‐profile media‐fuelled initiatives which identify and present awards to companies for ethical performance are regular events these days; customers, employees, shareholders and the general public expect not only quality goods and services but also increasingly demand a genuine commitment to ethical standards and practices, sustainable management of resources and community interaction. This paper explores the potential for furthering the ideals of CSR within the provisions of the recent EU constitutional treaty. The newly adopted Constitution aims to provide Europe with a common identity and set of goals which encompass both business and social interests, yet it has to date received a cool response from the business community. The impact of the Treaty and current CSR initiatives within the EU are discussed as to what extent their provisions might inform the current CSR debate in Europe.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

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Article
Publication date: 24 August 2021

Hanan AlMazrouei

The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between empowering leadership and organizational commitment and its effect on job performance and creative…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between empowering leadership and organizational commitment and its effect on job performance and creative work involvement within the expatriate society of the UAE.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper suggests a theoretical model derived from survey responses gathered from expatriates used in multinational organizations located in Dubai city in the UAE.

Findings

The results show that organizational commitment partially mediates the relationship between empowering leadership and job performance. Furthermore, the results show that organizational commitment partially mediates the relationship between empowering leadership and creative work involvement.

Originality/value

This research adds to the existing body of knowledge on international business by investigating the effects that organizational commitment and empowering leadership have on creative work involvement and job performance of expatriates.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

Suparak Suriyankietkaew and Gayle C. Avery

Given previous findings that employee satisfaction contributes to firm performance and sustainability, this study examined the relationships between 23…

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2022

Abstract

Purpose

Given previous findings that employee satisfaction contributes to firm performance and sustainability, this study examined the relationships between 23 leadership/management practices on employee satisfaction. It identified specific practices with significant effects on employee satisfaction. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a theoretical framework and questionnaire derived from Avery and Bergsteiner's Sustainable Leadership Model, data were collected from 1,152 employees in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Bangkok, Thailand.

Findings

Overall, adopting sustainable leadership (SL) practices was related significantly to employee satisfaction, consistent with Avery and Bergsteiner's model. Twenty of the 23 SL practices were linked to enhanced employee satisfaction, the exceptions being independence from the financial markets, self-management and environmental responsibility. Specific SL practices predicted enhanced employee satisfaction more than others, the strongest predictor being high staff engagement. Other practices associated with employee satisfaction were: valuing employees, ethical behaviour, considered organizational change, a strong and shared vision, an enabling culture, and quality in products and services.

Research limitations/implications

Considerable scope exists for future research into the relationships between individual and bundles of SL practices with employee satisfaction in different national, industry and other contexts. Further limitations are discussed in the paper.

Practical implications

Managers of SMEs in Thailand and possibly in other contexts should consider adopting the SL practices shown to significantly enhance employee satisfaction and in doing so help sustain their business success.

Originality/value

This study pioneered research into a gap in the literature about the SL and management practices that positively predict enhanced employee satisfaction, an area of importance to both leadership practice and research.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 13 May 2014

Sooksan Kantabutra

This study aims to measure the Thai approach of corporate sustainability. In the corporate world, the Thai philosophy of Sufficiency Economy can be applied to ensure…

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1565

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to measure the Thai approach of corporate sustainability. In the corporate world, the Thai philosophy of Sufficiency Economy can be applied to ensure corporate sustainability. Derived from the literature, a structural model expressing relationships between six independent variables of Sufficiency Economy indicators and three dependent variables of sustainability performance outcomes is formed accordingly, followed by hypotheses to be tested.

Design/methodology/approach

The model is tested through a random sample of 294 chief executive officers (CEOs) in Thailand who were asked to respond to a questionnaire. Factor and regression analyses are adopted to test the hypotheses.

Findings

Findings indicate that “perseverance” and “resilience” are two direct predictors of three sustainability outcomes of the firm’s enhanced capacity to deliver strong performance, endure social and economic crises and deliver public benefits. “Geosocial development” is a direct predictor of firm’s enhanced capacity to deliver public benefits and an indirect predictor of firm’s enhanced capacity to deliver strong performance and to endure social and economic crises. “Moderation” is an indirect predictor of the firm’s capacity to endure social and economic crises, while “sharing” is an indirect predictor of all three sustainability performance outcomes.

Practical implications

Small- and medium-sized enterprises business leaders should develop a “perseverance” culture in their organizations and practice “resilience” to enhance their corporate sustainability prospect. Moreover, they should adopt “geosocial development”, “moderation” and “sharing” practices in their organizations, as these practices positively affect corporate sustainability performance directly or indirectly.

Originality/value

This study is among the first few studies that identify corporate sustainability performance predictors.

Details

Measuring Business Excellence, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Suparak Suriyankietkaew

The purpose of this paper is to investigate a limited empirical study into the field of sustainable leadership (SL) and customer satisfaction. Hence, the quantitative…

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1711

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate a limited empirical study into the field of sustainable leadership (SL) and customer satisfaction. Hence, the quantitative effects and relationships between SL and customer satisfaction were examined based on empirical analysis and evidence from Thailand. These relationships are of interest for studying long-term corporate success and sustainability in firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design was based on an empirical, quantitative approach using a cross-sectional survey. Convenience sampling was used, gaining responses from 440 business managers across various industries in Thailand. SL model was adopted as a theoretical framework.

Findings

It is evident in this study that 16 out of 23 SL practices are significantly associated with enhanced customer satisfaction. Multiple regression analyses provide evidence that strong and shared vision, innovation, staff engagement and high quality are significantly and positively expected to increase customer satisfaction. In short, the four practices are the key predictors of and drivers for superior customer satisfaction in firms.

Research limitations/implications

One important implication is that business owners, leaders and managers from Thailand and other emerging Asia-Pacific economies should adopt these significant practices to improve superior customer satisfaction, thereby contributing to enhanced sustainable enterprises in the long run. Since the existing study is the first investigation into studying the relationships and their effects, it needs replication and cross-validation.

Originality/value

Overall findings are of empirical and practical significance to expand limited knowledge in the field, with scanty empirical research to date. It offers research insights into the relationships between SL practices and customer satisfaction. Hence, it is of empirical and practical significance. Limitations and future directions are also discussed.

Details

Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-4323

Keywords

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