Sustainability means many things to many people. is certainly about the environment, ecological fragility, and balance, but it is also profoundly about economic and social diversity and equity. Indeed, from a systems perspective, sustainability resides at the very intersection of the environmental, economic, and social arenas.
What the scholars in this book are trying to do is to create a conversation about how a clearer understanding of sustainability can help create a new, more just global society. The chapters that follow describe, from a variety of perspectives, the sustainability values, meaning, and action that have been revealed by the empirical research of the authors.
All are recent graduates of Fielding Graduate University’s PhD program in Human and Organizational Development (HOD), known throughout its 40-year history for innovative and progressive visions for humankind. This monograph builds on that tradition, while at the same time reaching to a future of increasingly disruptive technologies.
- Paul Stillman’s chapter on Sustainability as Organizational Culture examines the experiences of people at all levels in organizations committed to exhibiting exemplary sustainable practices.
- Kevin Joseph LeGrand turns our attention to the question of the influence of values and norms for activism and conservation when it comes to environmental sustainability.
- Karen Smith Bogart reports on the influence of the boards of directors of large U.S. public companies on corporate social responsibility (CSR), considers their involvement and impact, and identifies implications for their role.
- Kerul Kassel discusses the value orientations and organizational sustainability practices of the CEOs of major corporations. Steve Schein inquired into the deep sustainability leadership of corporate sustainability leaders and how their motivations may influence their behavior and capacity to lead large-scale transformational change.
- Jo-Anne Clarke addresses the emergence of women who are sustainability entrepreneurs and are guided by a strong set of values that place environmental and social wellbeing before materialistic growth. John Fisher makes sense of sustainability for sustainability managers and how they make meaning and take action.
- The final chapter by Alice MacGillivray integrates two empirical research projects she has done that were driven by the need to better understand leadership in complex, unpredictable, horizontal, boundary-spanning systems.
- Finally, the Afterword by Katrina Rogers, President of Fielding Graduate University, is a thoughtful analysis of the way ahead, a direction that may be fraught in many ways but that also contains the seeds of hope, as she indicates to us. The collaborative efforts and research of our authors here indicate that this hope may indeed become a reality for a world that is sorely in need of new direction.
Published September 21, 2015