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Book part
Publication date: 21 June 2011

Ann E. Feyerherm and Sally Breyley Parker

Organizations are currently striving to become more sustainable, as resources dwindle and social desirability for sustainability increases. This is important in public…

Abstract

Organizations are currently striving to become more sustainable, as resources dwindle and social desirability for sustainability increases. This is important in public sector organizations as well as private, and exemplars are needed. Therefore, this chapter provides a description of how a public housing authority in pursuit of a social mission parlayed an energy performance contract into a triple bottom line sustainability journey. The Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority's (CMHA) sustainability journey has been shaped most significantly by the commitment of CMHA leadership to collaboration (internal and external) as a core strategy. The chapter provides a rich description of CMHA's emergent partnerships with various organizations in their environment; focusing first on energy and later encompassing social, ecological, and economic sustainability. It describes and analyzes the leadership that emerged which played an essential role in supporting the complexity of increasing collaborative involvement. New theories of leadership, most specifically Complexity Leadership Theory (Uhl-Bien & Marion, 2008), emergent leadership (Goldstein et al., 2010), and adaptive leadership (Heifetz, 1994) are used to make sense of the leadership philosophy and actions that worked in the sustainability journey.

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Organizing for Sustainability
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-557-1

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Book part
Publication date: 13 July 2020

Sandra Mohr and Howard Purcell

This chapter explores sustainable development of leadership strategies as a social framework in higher education to help with defining, implementing, and envisioning a…

Abstract

This chapter explores sustainable development of leadership strategies as a social framework in higher education to help with defining, implementing, and envisioning a sustainable future. Leaders need to develop a sustainable approach for higher education that involves all stakeholders who benefit from having educated citizens to develop common interests that develop and promote sustainable objectives that focus on shared values. An educationally sustainable approach extends beyond a current leader’s time at the institution to continue stable growth and long-term approaches around making decisions, fostering systemic innovation, developing an engaged workforce, and providing quality services and solutions. Leaders need to link sustainable strategies to the school’s mission, values, and finances to help gain consensus and align the decision-making process. In an effort to develop leaders and programs around educational sustainability, governmental organizations have been established to help develop policies and programs to create a sustainable future. Additionally, professional organizations have formed that allow leaders a chance to connect, grow skills, and lead sustainability initiatives. And, higher education institutions have created offices focused around sustainability on campus and educational programs around sustainability leadership to help develop future leaders that are able to take action based on sustainability values and creating an inclusive and reflective process for decision-making. Sustainable leadership has the power to transform society through reorienting the educational system to help people develop knowledge, skills, values, and behaviors for an ever-changing world.

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Introduction to Sustainable Development Leadership and Strategies in Higher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-648-9

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Article
Publication date: 26 August 2014

Ki-Hoon Lee and Stefan Schaltegger

This paper aims to investigate the roles of leadership in enabling sustainability transformation of universities and higher sustainability management education. It…

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2417

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the roles of leadership in enabling sustainability transformation of universities and higher sustainability management education. It advocates research into the role of leadership for a university’s sustainability transformation by exploring interactions between university members and institutional contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a case study approach, this study explores the sustainability transformation of a university and its influence on the MBA Sustainability Management by applying Mintzberg’s leadership framework.

Findings

The findings suggest that leaders can strongly influence a process of change in mindsets, practices and curricula to incorporate sustainability into higher business education institutions. Whereas bottom-up leadership initiatives are crucial, leadership support from top management is seen as important to enable larger, more radical steps of transformation.

Originality/value

It is worthy noting that in the medium run strategic leadership to develop good sustainability management education programs requires a consistent institutional commitment for sustainability.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 19 December 2017

Ilana Avissar, Iris Alkaher and Dafna Gan

Distributed leadership has been reported in the literature as an effective management approach for educational organizations such as institutions of higher education. This…

Abstract

Purpose

Distributed leadership has been reported in the literature as an effective management approach for educational organizations such as institutions of higher education. This study aims to investigate the role of distributed leadership in the promotion of sustainability in an Israeli college of teacher education.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the Multi-Level Model of Leadership Practice in higher education, taken from Bolden et al. (2008a) and from Woods et al. (2004), the authors investigated how the characteristics of distributed leadership are expressed in three central organization-wide structures in the college (a student group, the green council and a professional development program). They also explored in what ways aspects of distributed leadership promote sustainability-oriented activities on campus. They used a deductive and inductive interpretive approach in this case study.

Findings

The authors found three organization-level processes that are based on the principles of distributed leadership and that promote sustainability on campus: distributed leadership enables change in the organization’s internal culture with respect to mainstreaming sustainability; distributed leadership encourages collaboration between the entire campus population and between different departments and distributed leadership on campus enables the development of diverse “bottom-up” and “top-down” structures in the organization.

Originality/value

While the study’s findings indicated several challenges regarding the implementation of distributed leadership in the organization, they ultimately support the idea that distributed leadership may contribute to the long-term, organization-wide implementation of sustainability in higher education institutes. Therefore, the authors recommend that institutions that are willing to promote sustainability adopt distributed leadership as their major management approach.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Alex Opoku, Heather Cruickshank and Vian Ahmed

Sustainable construction project delivery should be supported by committed and inspirational leadership, with a clear understanding of the sustainability challenge…

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1164

Abstract

Purpose

Sustainable construction project delivery should be supported by committed and inspirational leadership, with a clear understanding of the sustainability challenge. Construction organizations need intra-organizational leadership that provides the collective vision, strategy and direction towards the shared common goal of a sustainable future. The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of intra-organizational leadership within UK construction organizations charged with the promotion of sustainability practices.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts a mixed method approach with qualitative data collected through semi-structured interview with 15 leaders, followed by an industry-wide survey of 200 intra-organizational leaders in contractor and consultant organizations in the UK construction industry.

Findings

The analysis of the data revealed that, the most important role of intra-organizational leadership in promoting sustainable construction practices is to formulate policies, implement procedures and disseminate best practices throughout the organization .

Originality/value

Nothing has been written on intra-organizational leadership role in promoting sustainability practices in the construction industry. Although leadership and sustainability has been widely covered as separate issues this study provides the empirical evidence of the link between leadership and sustainability in construction.

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Jem Bendell, Neil Sutherland and Richard Little

The purpose of this paper is to prepare the conceptual groundwork for the future study of leadership for sustainable development. The paper demonstrates the relevance of…

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2801

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to prepare the conceptual groundwork for the future study of leadership for sustainable development. The paper demonstrates the relevance of Critical Leadership Studies to future research on sustainable development policies and practices. A critical approach is also applied to concepts of sustainable development, with three paradigms of thought described.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach taken is an extensive literature review in fields of leadership and sustainable development, with a focus on some of the broad assumptions and assertions in those literatures.

Findings

A key finding is that leadership studies drawing from critical social theory can provide important insights into future research and education on leadership for sustainability. This literature shows that some assumptions about leadership may hinder opportunities for social or organisational change by reducing the analysis of factors in change or reducing the agency of those not deemed to be leading. These limitations are summarised as “seven unsustainabilities” of mainstream leadership research.

Research limitations/implications

The paper calls for the emerging field of sustainable leadership to develop an understanding of significant individual action that includes collective, emergent and episodic dimensions. The paper then summarises key aspects of the papers in this special issue on leadership for sustainability.

Practical implications

The implications for practice are that efforts to promote organisational contributions to sustainable development should not uncritically draw upon mainstream approaches to leadership or the training of leaders.

Originality/value

The authors consider this the first paper to provide a synthesis of insights from Critical Leadership Studies for research in sustainability.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 29 August 2019

Divya Tripathi, Pushpendra Priyadarshi, Pankaj Kumar and Sushil Kumar

The purpose of this paper is to take a micro-foundational perspective to identify the effective leadership style and employee work behavior in achieving the goals of…

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1091

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to take a micro-foundational perspective to identify the effective leadership style and employee work behavior in achieving the goals of sustainability. It also aims to identify the mechanism through which leaders influence employees’ performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The study draws on existing literature for model creation and proposition development to understand the leadership style and employee behavior that would be effective in achieving sustainability goals.

Findings

In achieving the multifaceted goals of sustainability, servant leadership style is effective in mobilizing the resources and implementing the sustainability strategies among stakeholders. By enhancing interpersonal trust and psychological empowerment, servant leaders positively influence the work role behavior of the employees. Furthermore, the work performance of employees helps in achieving sustainable development.

Research limitations/implications

This study draws on the theory of micro-foundations to establish how individual-level factors help in realizing the macro goal of sustainability. It throws light on the growing need to cultivate micro-level leadership skills and employee behaviors to have effective organizational sustainability performance. It is imperative for the organizations to be socially responsible along with achieving the business goals.

Originality/value

This study responds to the call of studying micro-level actions in the context of sustainable development. It extends the current knowledge by developing a causal model linking leadership and employee performance through interpersonal trust and psychological empowerment. Moreover, it presents testable propositions linking interpersonal trust and psychological empowerment.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Alex Opoku, Vian Ahmed and Heather Cruickshank

Leadership is a significant success factor in promoting sustainability practices in the construction industry. Sustainability is an integral part of the construction…

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2396

Abstract

Purpose

Leadership is a significant success factor in promoting sustainability practices in the construction industry. Sustainability is an integral part of the construction industry and affects all aspects of construction business operations. The purpose of this paper is to investigate if there is any particular leadership style associated with intra-organizational leaders within UK construction organizations charged with the promotion of sustainability practices. The paper therefore examines the effective leadership style of sustainability professionals responsible for developing sustainable construction strategies.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative data were collected through semi-structured interview with 15 leaders, followed by an industry-wide survey of 200 intra-organizational leaders in contractor and consultant organizations in the UK construction industry.

Findings

The results showed that while there is no one best leadership style for all situation, most leaders charged with the role of promoting sustainable construction are strategic in their style or behaviour.

Originality/value

Although leadership and sustainability has been widely covered as separate issues, little rigorous research has been done on the link between leadership and sustainability in construction management research. The findings could guide organizational leaders with the responsibility of promoting sustainability practices.

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

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Article
Publication date: 24 January 2019

Piyachat Burawat

The purpose of this paper is to examine the structural relationship model among transformational leadership, sustainable leadership (SL), lean manufacturing practices and…

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1827

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the structural relationship model among transformational leadership, sustainable leadership (SL), lean manufacturing practices and sustainability performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The data were collected from the middle and senior managers working in small and medium enterprises of Thai manufacturing industry. Regarding the quantitative approach, the data were collected by means of survey from 598 respondents from 374 companies. Qualitative data were collected from 40 participants by participant observation, non-participant observation and in-depth interview.

Findings

The model reported that lean manufacturing has a partial mediate effect on the relationship between transformational leadership and sustainability performance, and between SL and sustainability performance. The structural model is different in automotive and nonautomotive companies, and the structural model is different among the companies which implemented lean program for less than five years and above five years. The data from in-depth interview informed that lean practices are appropriate for automotive industry though with less implementation in other industries. Firms pay most attention on customer involvement with some attention on employee and supplier involvement. Managers give advices and exchange ideas with their followers rather than inspiring and giving opportunities to make decision.

Research limitations/implications

The findings may also enable Thai managers to realize that lean practices are appropriate for any industry. The first thing to do before launching lean program to all process is that the company should buy-in the understanding of managers about lean concept and implementation. Willingness with well understanding and realizing importance of lean program will lead to superior results, especially operational, economic and sustainable performance.

Originality/value

The reliability and validity measurements confirmed that both SL and environmental and social performance are appropriate for manufacturing industries. This study provides evidence of the positive relationship between SL and lean manufacturing, lean manufacturing and sustainability performance, as well as the partial mediate effect of lean manufacturing on the relationship between SL and sustainability performance, which are the additional contributions to research in academic field. The results confirmed the positive relationship between transformational leadership and lean manufacturing. The results reported that there is difference of lean practices between automotive and nonautomotive companies, and between companies which implemented lean program less than five years and above five years. The structural relationship result reported that transformational leadership has effects on lean manufacturing whereas SL has no effect on lean manufacturing, which asserted the previous study in which one leadership model is more appropriate for success within lean implementations.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 36 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article
Publication date: 16 June 2016

Sander G. Tideman

The purpose of this paper is to look behind the veil of the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH), which has been initiated by the fourth King of Bhutan as an…

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1260

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to look behind the veil of the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH), which has been initiated by the fourth King of Bhutan as an alternative to the traditional development concept of gross national product, by analyzing it as an expression of a particular view of leadership originated in the philosophical tradition of Mahayana Buddhism and exploring its relevance for leadership of sustainable development and sustainable (business) organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

Review of literature on GNH in a historical and current context, linking it to trends and concepts in sustainability and leadership. Complemented by author’s observations on regular visits to Bhutan since 2003.

Findings

The GNH leadership view consists of a set of principles: first, interrelatedness of economy, society and eco-systems; second, the economy, society and eco-systems can flourish if their needs are served; third, governance is the agent for serving these needs by the creation of societal happiness; and fourth, societal happiness should include the enhancement of subjective happiness and well-being of people. By tracing these principles to the philosophy of Mahayana Buddhism, especially the Bodhisattva ideal, and comparing them to the principles driving sustainability, the paper argues that GNH leadership signifies an innovation in leadership for sustainability.

Practical implications

This paper examines how GNH leadership can be applied to organizational and business sustainability, and how it contributes to the emerging theory and practice of sustainability leadership.

Social implications

The social relevance of the paper lies in the examination of how GNH leadership can be applied to organizational and business sustainability, and how it contributes to the emerging theory and practice of sustainability leadership.

Originality/value

The paper concludes that GNH leadership – as it corresponds to the principles driving sustainability – represents a new model for sustainability leadership.

Details

South Asian Journal of Global Business Research, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2045-4457

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