Integrating Elements of Corporate Sustainability: Leadership, Change and Adaptive Management

Dr. Suzanne Benn,
Anne Ross-Smith
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This paper analyses the synergies and tensions between elements of organisational sustainability. We explore the challenges that achieving an integrated and practicable understanding of corporate sustainability poses for change agents and outline the change strategies and skills sets required to manage the tensions and maximise the synergies. We examine the notion of adaptive management and identify the issues it poses for the modern bureaucratic corporation seeking to embrace a sustainability agenda. We then consider the leadership qualities required to influence, inspire and implement sustainable change arguing that traditional heroic models of leadership do not easily lend themselves to its implementation. We consider suggestions that more feminized leadership styles associated with values-based rationality may be more likely to support these changes and conclude that leaders who embrace diversity will foster the new knowledge required to build sustainable value for all stakeholders.

Keywords: Stakeholders, Corporate Sustainability, Change Strategies, Adaptive Management, Leadership Styles, Human and Environmental Sustainability
Stream: Environmental Sustainability, Social Sustainability
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr. Suzanne Benn

Senior Lecturer, School of Management, Faculty of Business, University of Technology, Sydney

Anne Ross-Smith

Head of School, School of Management, Faculty of Business, University of Technology, Sydney

Associate Professor Anne Ross-Smith is Head of the School of Management in the Faculty of Business at the University of Technology, Sydney. She has been an academic for 18 years and teaches in the MBA and Bachelor of Business programs at UTS. Anne has a PhD in Management form Macquarie University Graduate School of Management

Anne researches and publishes in the areas of gender and organisation theory, organisational sustainability and change and new forms of leadership. She has recently completed an ARC funded project, Senior Women Executives and the Cultures of Management, the results of which received widespread mainstream media coverage.

Ref: S06P0318